Adding a Moving Average to the Volume Bars on a Chart

Most SharpCharts include a histogram at the bottom of the chart that represents the trading volume for each period. Sometimes it is useful to add a moving average to those bars, to see when unusual volume days occur.

In this step-by-step tutorial, we'll create a chart with a 20-day moving average on the volume bars.

Create the SharpChart

Step 1: Enter Ticker Symbol

There are several ways to create a new SharpChart, but the easiest is to enter the symbol in the Create-a-Chart box at the top of the page and then hit return or click Go.

Step 2: Remove Overlays and Indicators

To simplify the chart, let's remove any Indicators and Overlays from the default chart. The quickest way to do that is to click the Clear All link in the Overlays section and then repeat the process with the Clear All link in the Indicators section. Then, click one of the Update buttons to update the chart.

The chart should look similar to the one below.

Note: You may want to make other changes to the chart, such as changing the size or the color scheme. In the above chart, we used the “Spruce” color scheme.

Change Volume to an Indicator

The Volume setting in the Chart Attributes area is a “shortcut” way to add volume to a chart with the default configuration. If you want to adjust the Volume configuration (for example, adding a moving average to the volume bars), use the “Volume” indicator instead.

Step 3: Remove Shortcut Volume

To remove the “shortcut” Volume from the chart, change the Volume dropdown in the Chart Attributes area to Off. Then click the Update button to update the chart.

Step 4: Add Volume Indicator

Select Volume from one of the empty indicator dropdowns. Ensure the Position dropdown is set to Behind Price so volume will appear on the main chart panel. Click the Update button to update the chart.

Once these changes have been made, your chart should look similar to the one below.

Notice that the chart looks the same as the previous one. However, now that Volume is an indicator, you have more options for configuring the volume display.

Add the Moving Average to the Volume Indicator

There are two options for adding a moving average to your volume indicator.

Using Parameters Box

Using Advanced Options

The preferred method is to use the Advanced options to add the moving average.

Step 5: Expand Advanced Options

Members who are logged in should see the green Advanced Options triangle located just to the right in the Indicators area (note that this is different than the one in the Overlays area).

Click the green triangle if the Advanced Options area isn't already visible on the SharpCharts Workbench for your Volume indicator.

Step 6: Adding an Overlay

Find the Overlay dropdown menu next to your Volume indicator, and select the kind of moving average you want to add to your volume bars (Simple Moving Avg or Exp. Moving Avg). In the Parameters box to the right of the Overlay dropdown, enter the number of periods you want for your moving average. When you are done, click the Update button.

The Final Product

The finished chart will look similar to the one below.

Additional Resources


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