Formula 101 – #6 Using Indicators

Indicators usually exist on charts only. That&#39s because indicators require data series to operate on. By having data series available in quote formula, it is natural to bring indicator series into quote formulas as well.

By having indicators accessible in quote formulas, you can easily display any indicator related information in the quote window, in any combination you want.

What is Indicator Series?

Indicator series are series derived from the data series. Similar to data series, you can reference to their previous values, and you can use any time frame you like, even within a single formula.

The General Form

For indicators that have no parameters of their own, the general form of these indicators is,

Indicatorname (BarsAgo, SeriesDescriptor)

Similar to data series functions, if you are referring to the last bar information, you can use the short form,

Indicatorname (SeriesDescriptor)

Here are some actual examples,

PrevDClose (M5)
Average (1, M30)

For indicators that have one or more parameters, the general form of these indicators is,

Indicatorname (BarsAgo, SeriesDescriptor, param1, param2, param3, ...)

And the short form is,

Indicatorname (SeriesDescriptor, param1, param2, param3, ...)

Here are some actual examples,

PrevDAverage (M5, "Upper")
Average (1, M30, 30)

What type of indicators can be used in quote formulas?

All single link indicators can be used in quote formulas, including the ones defined by the user, or commercial indicators installed by the user.

The ones with multiple links are not available and not recognized in the quote formulas. You will not be able to get any calculated results from these indicators even if you type them into the quote formulas using proper syntax.

For multiple link indicators, if you are going to feed it with the same data series across the links, you will still need to create a shell indicator as a medium to call the actual indicator that you wanted to used. It is a more advanced topic and we will leave that to a future tutorial that focuses on advance usage of quote formulas.

SeriesDescriptor and BarsAgo Parameters

Series Descriptors and BarsAgo parameters are well discussed in the previous tutorial. If you have not read that through, it is highly recommended. Here is a link to Tutorial 5.

The BarsAgo parameter in indicator functions is optional, similar to that in the data field functions. If you do not include the BarsAgo parameters, NeoTicker will assume that you are requesting for the latest bar information.

Indicator Specific Parameters

The param1, param2, param3, ... items are indicator specific parameters. They are the parameters that you fill in when you add an indicator to a chart through the Add Indicator window. The exact order of the parameters must be followed and you must specify all the parameters when you use them in the quote formulas.

For example, if you want to use the Moving Average indicator in quote formula, then you must provide 2 indicator parameters to satisfy NeoTicker&#39s requirement. Here is how it looks like,

Mov (M5, "Simple", 10)

Yes, you can use the Indicator Wizard

If you are not sure about an indicator’s parameter specifications, then use the Indicator Wizard. It is provided for exactly this purpose.

For example, when you are entering a formula and you forget how the moving average indicator syntax looks like, then simply press the Indicator Wizard button, choose the moving average indicator and fill in the details. The Indicator Wizard will then generate the necessary formula for you.

Example: A Simple Strong Trend Setup

Here is a basic strong trend setup,

1. ADX >= 20

2. Bullish setup - Close > EMA 20, EMA 20 > SMA 50

3. Bearish setup - Close < EMA20, EMA 20 > SMA 50

It is not really complex to write in terms of quote formula,

Choose (
ADX (M5, 14) >= 20 and Close (M5) > qc_xaverage (M5, 20) and qc_xaverage (M5, 20) > average (M5, 50), 1,
ADX (M5, 14) >= 20 and Close (M5) < qc_xaverage (M5, 20) and qc_xaverage (M5, 20) < average (M5, 50), 2, 0)

NeoTicker will figure out the rest of the details and provide the necessary computed results.

Here is the formula setup,

formula101 part6 formula setup

Remember to set the color rules,

formula101 part6 color setup

And here is how the quote window looks like,

formula101 part6 quote window


Indicator functions are just extension to the usage of data series in quote formula. It is not that complex once you have seen enough examples. Use the Indicator Wizard if you do not remember the exact syntax.


1. What is the formula for identifying triple overbought, defined by stochastic slowk indicator greater than 70, across 15-minute, 1-hour, and daily bars?

2. What is the formula for identifying the crossing of a 50 period simple moving average based on 20-minute bars?

3. What is the formula for identifying the 5-minute data series just made a white hammer sitting on top of the daily pivot point (i.e. Previous Day Average indicator)?

Answers for Previous Exercise

1. Just mix the daily and 5-minute series in the comparison will do,

High (1, D1) < High (1, M5)

2. Two possible answers, depending on your intention in using the formula,

To detect what is happening on the current bar,

C (3, M10) < C (2, M10) and C (2, M10) < C (1, M10) and C (1, M10) < C (M10)

To highlight the condition when the previous bar is matching the criteria,

C (4, M10) < C (3, M10) and C (3, M10) < C (2, M10) and C (2, M10) < C (1, M10)

3. The formula utilizes 2 time frames at the same time,

(Close (1, D1) >= Close (1, M15) and Close (1, D1) < Close (M15)) or (Close (1, D1) <= Close (1, M15) and Close (1, D1) > Close (M15))

Discuss this article.

2 Comments on “Formula 101 – #6 Using Indicators”

  1. Ted Adams Says:

    Just wanted to say thanks for taking the time to write these exercises .
    They fill in a lot of gaps from what I’ve learned a little here and
    a little there.

  2. Lawrence Chan Says:

    The NeoTicker Help file has a lot of information, written over time as the features expanded and developed since version 1. Thus it is a bit disorganized 🙂
    The current state of NeoTicker quote formula has stabalized as we’ve covered all the basic needs requested by our clients from various backgrounds. So, it is time to write a more comprehensive guide to the formula language, in a more user friendly way so that it is easier for everyone to utilize its power.
    I am very glad that many users find the tutorials are helpful to them. The positive feedbacks by itself is a very pleasant experience. Thanks.

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