P&F Charts

Point and Figure (P&F) charts contain columns of X's and O's on a grid of square boxes. Columns of X's alternate with columns of O's. The X's represent a period of rising prices while the O's represent a period of falling prices.

For details on how P&F Charts are constructed and how they are interpreted, please see our ChartSchool article on P&F Charting.

Below is an example of a P&F chart.

An example of a P&F chart.

In addition to the basic price quote at the top of the chart, this header area also lists any new P&F Patterns on the chart. For more information on the P&F chart patterns you can automatically detect in P&F charts, please see our ChartSchool article on P&F Pattern Alerts.

The current Price Objective can also be shown in the header area at the top of the chart. P&F Price Objectives are often misunderstood and misused.


Creating P&F Charts

Just like SharpCharts are created and customized in the SharpCharts Workbench, P&F Charts are created and customized in the P&F Workbench.

P&F Charts can be created for any ticker symbol in the StockCharts database. The following are different ways to do this:

  • Use the Create-a-Chart bar at the top of any of our web pages. First, change the dropdown from SharpChart to Point & Figure, enter the ticker symbol you wish to chart, and press Go or hit return.

  • Click on the Point & Figure link at the bottom of the Classic SharpCharts Workbench. If you're using the New SharpCharts workbench, select the More Tools button (bottom right of chart), and select Point & Figure from the menu.

  • Click on the P&F Chart icon on most report pages (Market Summary, Sector Summary, etc.) and the Scan Results pages.

  • Under the Charts & Tools tab at the top of any page, enter a ticker symbol in the Point & Figure card found under More Charting Tools.

  • In the Member Tools area of Your Dashboard, click the Point & Figure link found under Charting Tools.

Using the P&F Workbench

After loading a chart in the P&F Workbench, you can change the settings for the chart just as you would on the SharpCharts Workbench, using the controls above and below the chart.

After changing the settings, click Update (or the return key) to see the new chart.

Above the Chart

Above the P&F chart, you will find controls for setting the ticker symbol and data bar period.

If you are a StockCharts member, you will also see controls for saving your chart in a ChartList and retrieving previously saved charts. All these controls work just as they do on the SharpCharts Workbench.

Immediately below the chart is a line of Action Links, which allow you to perform various actions.

  • Print. Creates a printable version of the P&F Chart

  • Share. Allows you to share your P&F Chart in different ways, including email and social media sites

  • Permalink. Creates a link to the chart that you can then bookmark, send to friends, etc.

  • Past Data. Allows members to see the underlying data that was used to create the chart

  • Instructions. This brings you to this page for more info on using P&F Charts

  • Report Problems. Allows you to send a problem report to the StockCharts Support team


ChartStyles Area

Below the Action Links, you'll find the ChartStyles area for P&F charts.

ChartStyles are templates—collections of settings—for charts. Once you have a ChartStyle, you can apply it to any ticker symbol to create a chart that uses those settings.

The P&F workbench doesn't support StyleButtons like the SharpCharts Workbench. The P&F workbench has predefined ChartStyles, and you can also create your custom default ChartStyle.

Predefined ChartStyles

The ChartStyles dropdown menu allows you to access the predefined P&F ChartStyles. Select the style you want, and it will immediately be applied to the current chart.

Default P&F ChartStyle

Whenever a new chart is created from a ticker symbol—for example, when you use the Create-a-Chart bar to create a new P&F Chart—the default P&F settings are applied to that ticker symbol. You can change those settings by clicking the Save As Default link.

Note: Your Default P&F settings are stored in a special “cookie” inside your web browser.

Applying Styles to ChartLists

To apply a P&F ChartStyle to all other charts in a ChartList, you must first display one of the charts in the ChartList. Set it to the ChartStyle you want using the above instructions. Then, click the Apply Style To All button at the bottom of the P&F Workbench. This will change all the charts in the ChartList to match the displayed one.


Chart Attributes

Below the chart, you can change several Chart Attributes, the settings that affect the entire chart.

Chart Attribute settings.
  • Period. The period of the bars used in creating the P&F Chart.

  • Duration. The date that the chart ends on. Set the “End Date” value to “today” so the chart continually updates. If an end date is specified, the chart will not update with new data beyond the selected date.

  • Hide Months. Hides or displays the red letters and numbers on the chart signifying the first box of each month.

  • Type. Either “High/Low” or “Close Only.”

  • Size. The width of the chart (in pixels).

  • Color Scheme. The colors used to draw the chart.

  • Price Objective. Enables the display of Price Objectives on the chart.

  • Volume. Enables a volume histogram at the bottom of the chart.

  • Decimal. Controls the number of decimal points on the vertical axis.

  • Scale Factor. Multiplies price data by the selected amount before creating the chart.

  • Color Columns. Colors up columns black and down columns red.

Note: P&F Price Objectives (also called “P&F Counts”) can be enabled using the “Price Objective” dropdown. Please note that Price Objectives are often misunderstood. Please read our ChartSchool article on Price Objectives carefully before evaluating them.

Chart Scaling

The Chart Scaling section allows you to change the conditions that cause reversals on the P&F chart. (For details on choosing these settings, please see our ChartSchool article on P&F Scaling and Timeframes.)

The Method dropdown allows you to select the scaling method you want to use. Depending on your selected scaling method, one or more parameter boxes will appear to the right of the dropdown.

Below are the scaling methods StockCharts supports.

  • Traditional scaling uses a predefined table of price ranges to determine the box size. The table was created by the people at ChartCraft and later popularized by Tom Dorsey in his book Point & Figure Charting.

Price Range

Box Size

Under 0.25

0.0625

0.25 to 1.00

0.125

1.00 to 5.00

0.25

5.00 to 20.00

0.50

20.00 to 100

1.00

100 to 200

2.00

200 to 500

4.00

500 to 1,000

5.00

1,000 to 25,000

50.00

25,000 and up

500.00

  • Percentage scaling (logarithmic scaling) uses box sizes that are a fixed percentage of the stock's price. For example, if a chart used 5% scaling and the stock's price is $100, the box size for that part of the chart would be $5.00. Enter the desired percentage used for scaling in the Box Percent field. The default is 1.0 for 1%.

  • Dynamic (ATR) scaling uses a box size determined by the daily Average True Range value for the chart. This setting automatically creates an interesting-looking chart; however, because it is based on volatility, this setting can cause the chart to change significantly from one day to the next. Enter the number of periods to use for calculating the ATR in the ATR Period Field. The default value is 20 periods.

  • User-defined scaling uses a fixed box size set by the user. Enter the desired box size in the Box Size field. The default is 1.0.

Regardless of the method chosen, the Reversal field is where you enter the number of boxes that a stock needs to move in the opposite direction to warrant a column reversal. The default value is 3 boxes.

Overlays

Using the dropdowns and parameter boxes in this section, you can add several technical overlays to a Point & Figure chart.

P&F Overlays section.

You can add up to six overlays to a chart.

  • Trend Lines automatically add 45-degree trend lines to the chart. They alternate between bullish (blue) and bearish (red) lines. A P&F trend line is in effect until it is violated.

  • Simple Moving Average is calculated based on the midpoint of each column of X's and O's. Enter the number of periods to be used for the moving average calculation in the first parameter box. The default value is 20.

  • Bollinger Bands are calculated based on the midpoint of each column of X's and O's. Enter the number of periods to be used in the calculation in the first parameter box. Enter the standard deviation in the second parameter box. The default values are 20 and 2, respectively.

  • Volume by Price shows a horizontal histogram with each bar representing the cumulative volume for that price level.

  • Price Plot includes a small version of the OHLC bar chart for the ticker symbol in the background of the P&F chart.

  • Reversal Marker shows the location of the next reversal for the chart based on its current reversal settings.

Note: The indicators are based on the X and O levels on the Point & Figure chart. In other words, they are based on P&F prices, not on the daily price/volume of the actual security. Do not expect indicators on the P&F charts to look the same as indicators on a daily bar chart.


Frequently Asked Questions

What do the numbers and letters on P&F charts represent?

Numbers and letters on the chart indicate when a new month has begun. For instance, the number “2” shows where February started. The letters “A,” “B” and “C” are used to indicate the beginning of October, November and December.

Can I annotate a P&F chart?

P&F charts cannot be annotated.

Why did I not see a reversal today?

When the current column is an X-Column (rising), another X can be drawn and ignore the low.


Additional Resources

Videos


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