Though we can generate alerts programmatically in PowerLanguage, we can also have MultiCharts generate alerts based on drawings we made manually. How to do that?

In this article:

Generating alerts in MultiCharts with drawings

With alerts MultiCharts notifies us of certain happenings, like when a price crosses a trend line. The type of alerts that MultiCharts can trigger are audio alerts, notification windows, and email alerts (MultiCharts Wiki, 2013). Regardless of the alert type, each alert that’s generated programmatically also shows up in the ‘Alerts’ tab of the Order and Position Tracker window.

While this chapter’s focus is on programmatically generating MultiCharts alerts, we can also generate alerts by hand. For that we have to place a drawing on the chart and then enable its alert setting. Let’s see which drawings can generate alerts. Then we’ll walk through an example of generating alerts with a manual trend line and a time line.

Creating MultiCharts drawings and generating alerts with them

There are several drawings that we can make manually in MultiCharts, and each has its own icon in the ‘Drawing’ toolbar:

The 'Drawing' toolbar in MultiCharts

If you can’t find that toolbar in your main MultiCharts application window, you likely need to enable it: click on the ‘View’ menu and go all the way down to the ‘Toolbars’ menu entry. There select ‘Drawing’. (The image below is edited for brevity; the ‘Toolbars’ item is at the bottom of the very long ‘View’ menu.)

Enabling the 'Drawing' toolbar in MultiCharts

Not all drawings in the ‘Drawing’ toolbar can generate alerts, however. The following manual drawings can trigger alerts:

  • Trend Line, Horizontal Line, Time Line, Regression Channel, Equidistant Channel, Andrew’s Pitchfork, Fibonacci Retracement Price Lines, Fibonacci Speed/Resistance Fan, Fibonacci Trend-based Price Extension Lines, Fibonacci Time Zones, Fibonacci Trend-based Time Lines, and Gann Fan.

These manual drawings can not generate alerts:

  • Fibonacci Speed/Resistance Arcs, Gann Square, Retracement Calculator, Text, Rectangle, Ellipse, Arc, Arrow Down, and Arrow Up.

For each manual drawing with an alert option, the process of generating an alert with that drawing is the same:

  • First we place the drawing on the chart.
  • Then we open that drawing’s settings. We do that with a double-click on the drawing or with a right-click and then selecting the ‘Format [drawing name]’ option.
  • In the window with drawing settings, we go to the ‘Alerts’ tab and there we can enable and configure the alert settings.

To see how this process works, let’s look at two examples: generating an alert with manual trend lines and then we explore generating an alert with a time line.

Generating alerts with a manual MultiCharts trend line

To have a manual trend line generate alerts, we first have to draw this trend line on the chart. For that we click on the ‘Trend Line’ icon in the ‘Drawing’ toolbar:

The 'Trend Line' icon in MultiCharts' 'Drawing' toolbar

Then we click on the chart once for the line’s begin point and with the second click we mark the line’s end point. If we do this twice, we end up with two trend lines like the following:

Drawing trend lines by hand on the MultiCharts chart

After drawing a trend line, we have to enable its alerts and configure the alert settings. Both are done in the trend line’s settings. We open that settings window by double-clicking the trend line or with a right-click on the trend line and then selecting ‘Format Trend Line’:

Formatting a manual trend line by hand

This brings up the ‘Format Trend Line’ window where we can configure several trend line properties. Here we select the ‘Alerts’ tab to specify the alert settings:

Configuring the alert settings of a manual MultiCharts drawing

We enable alerts in MultiCharts with the ‘Enable Alert’ checkbox. When we enable that option, the other settings also become available. For our example, let’s configure the alerts so that they generate on bar close and show the notification window for 60 seconds:

Alert settings for the manual drawing configured

After confirming these settings we’ve configured the first trend line. But since we’ve made two trend lines, we need to consider the other one as well. And so we right-click the second trend line and choose ‘Format Trend Line’:

Formatting the other manual trend line on the MultiCharts chart

This again opens a ‘Format Trend Line’ window, and we configure this second trend line as follows:

Manual MultiCharts trend line configured

When we confirm these settings with the ‘OK’ button, both of our trend lines can generate alerts depending on how the price action develops.

However, our horizontal trend line doesn’t generate an alert when the bar closes above the trend line (see arrow):

Example of prices crossing our manual trend line

This happens because the trend line wasn’t drawn over that price bar even though the bar did cross above that line’s price level. To have our trend line generate alerts for any future price bar that crosses it, we have to extend it to the right so that the line continues indefinitely in that direction.

To extend the trend line, we right-click on the trend line and select ‘Format Trend Line’:

Formatting the manual trend line again

Then we go to the ‘Style’ tab and select the ‘Right’ option that’s just below ‘Extend’:

Extending the manual trend line indefinitely to the right

Next we need to enable that setting for the other trend line in the same way. After that the chart looks as follows with both trend lines continuing into the future:

Example of the MultiCharts chart with extended trend lines

Now when price action develops further, the price bar actually crosses the trend line:

Prices crossing the extended MultiCharts trend lines

And when that happens, an alert triggers:

Example of a MultiCharts alert generated by a manual drawing

Alerts generated with manual drawings contain basic information, with the message simply saying here “Trend Line triggered”. For more meaningful alert messages, we have to programmatically generate alerts and not use manual drawings. In the generating alerts with MultiCharts trend lines article we discuss programmatically making a trend line and generating alerts with it.

Triggering alerts with a manual time line in MultiCharts

Another manual drawing that can trigger alerts is a Time Line. This drawing consists out of a vertical line that marks some time and date on the time axis. We make this line with the ‘Time Line’ icon on the ‘Drawing’ toolbar (the 3rd icon from the left):

The 'Time Line' icon in the MultiCharts program

After selecting that icon we click on the chart to place our line. That makes the price chart looks like:

Drawing a manual Time Line on the MultiCharts chart

With that drawing created we need to enable the alert and configure its alert settings just as we did with the trend lines discussed above. And so we either double-click on the time line or right-click on it and select ‘Format Time Line’:

Formatting the time line in MultiCharts

This opens the ‘Format Time Line’ window. Here we can configure several properties of the time line, including its alert settings. For that we select the ‘Alerts’ tab where we have several alert settings:

Enabling and configuring the alerts of a time line

We enable MultiCharts alerts with the ‘Enable Alert’ checkbox. With that option enabled, the other options also become available. For our time line, let’s configure the MultiCharts alerts so that we get an audio and visual alert.

Alerts of a time line are only triggered when the bar crosses the line. That requires that the bar closes on the time line, and then when the next bar opens the bar has crossed the line. Since time line alerts are only triggered then, there are no options to configure whether the alert should be triggered with every tick, once per bar, or on bar close.

The alerts of a MultiCharts Time Line configured by hand

With the ‘Use as Default’ option here in the ‘Alerts’ tab, the current time line alert settings can be the default for all future time lines that we make on new price charts (MultiCharts Wiki, 2013).

When we’ve armed the alerts of the time line, we have to wait until the price bar crosses the time line like this:

Prices crossing the Time Line in MultiCharts

As soon as the bar crosses the time line like that, MultiCharts generates an alert like the following:

Alert caused by prices crossing the Time Line

Here the alert triggers with the “Time Line triggered” message. While we can generate more informational alerts when generating alerts programmatically, it’s currently not possible to create time lines with code.

Comparing manual alerts with programmatic MultiCharts alerts

As briefly mentioned above, generating alerts with manual drawings has a couple of limitations compared to generating alerts with code:

  • When we programmatically trigger an alert, we can have the alert message contain a text of our choosing – including dynamic values (MultiCharts Wiki, 2012). On the other hand, alerts fired by manual drawings have the same standard alert message each time.
  • With manual drawings we need to enable (or disable) the alert settings for each drawing on the chart. When we have a script create drawings and generate alerts with them, we only need to configure that script’s settings.
  • Manual drawings have to be updated by hand so that they can still trigger alerts when new price bars have been formed and prices moved away from the drawing. When we generate alerts programmatically, we can have our script deal with that.
  • When a manual drawing generates an alert and we happen to miss it, we can’t look it up afterwards. But alerts generated programmatically are logged in the ‘Alerts’ tab of the Order and Position Tracker (MultiCharts Wiki, 2015).
  • Because we can only make drawings on price charts, we cannot use them to generate alerts in the Scanner/Watchlist window and Portfolio Trader. Luckily, we can generate alerts programmatically in those environments.

However, using manual drawings to generate alerts also has a benefit:

  • Currently we can only make arrows, text boxes, and trend lines programmatically. And so programmatically creating other drawings and generating alerts with them is not possible. That means the manual drawings gives us more ways to generate alerts.

In generating alerts with trend lines we discuss creating trend lines and alerts programmatically. Another approach to manual alerts is to create semi-automatic alerts with mouse clicks.

Summary

Most manual drawings that we make with the MultiCharts ‘Drawings’ toolbar can have an alert attached to them. That requires that we enable the drawing’s alert option, but also configure its alert settings so that the alert fires in the way we intended. Compared to generating alerts programmatically, alerts triggered with manual drawings require more manual actions. And when they fire, the alert message is less informative.

Learn more:


References

MultiCharts Wiki (2012, February 7). Alert. Retrieved on April 27, 2016, from http://www.multicharts.com/trading-software/index.php/Alert

MultiCharts Wiki (2013, May 10). Using Alerts. Retrieved on April 27, 2016, from https://www.multicharts.com/trading-software/index.php/Using_Alerts

MultiCharts Wiki (2015, October 21). Order and Position Tracker. Retrieved on September 28, 2016, from https://www.multicharts.com/trading-software/index.php/Order_and_Position_Tracker