FX Currency Map

The FX Currency Map is a thinkorswim gadget that allows you to quickly and easily check the dynamics of currency pairs. Like all other gadgets, the FX Currency Map can be displayed as a section of the left sidebar or a separate window (see the Left Sidebar article for details).

The first thing you need to do when using the FX Currency map is specify the counter currency in the currency toggle located in the gadget header. This is the currency against which the map will be built. Basically speaking, the map illustrates the comparison of available currencies with the one you specified in the toggle. On top of the map, there is a display of base currencies. Those are major currencies from around the world, each assigned a proper map section, spanning from the U.S. dollar on the left to the New Zealand dollar on the right.

Each of the base currencies is compared with the counter one and the result of the comparison is displayed as a histogram. Note that this histogram is plotted based on the base-to-counter currency ratio which is not necessarily equal to the FX pair ratio. Red columns directed downwards signify that at this very moment it takes less counter currency to buy the base currency than it did this morning. Green columns directed upwards mean exactly the opposite.

Hovering the mouse over currency sections will bring up a pop-up window where you can see the following:

- The full symbol of the currency pair. Note that it is not necessarily the same as the base-to-counter currency ratio: for example, if you specify USD as the counter currency, the CAD section of the map will display the value of CAD/USD value, while in the pop-up, you will see the standard USD/CAD pair. This transposition allows you to compare a currency to all of its counter currencies on an apples-to-apples basis, regardless of which side of the currency product it is placed in.

- The current last sale price and the net change of the currency pair as calculated from midnight CT.

- A major city name from the base currency area (location of the major exchange of that area), current time in that area, and current market open/closed status. The market is open from Sunday afternoon to Friday afternoon.

Below the currency map, there is an FX Pair watch list. Like all other watch lists, this one can be customized; for more information on that, refer to the Watch Lists article.

*Forex trading involves leverage, carries a high level of risk and is not suitable for all investors. Please read the Forex Risk Disclosure prior to trading forex products.

The left sidebar is an area in the thinkorswim interface where you keep gadgets necessary for your work. These gadgets allow you to view some trading information immediately, watch news or even distract yourself by playing a couple of built-in games without needing to leave the main window of the platform. The content of the left sidebar is completely customizable. It is up to you to decide which gadgets to keep there; refer to pages in this section, to learn more about each of them.

To add a gadget, click the 'plus' button  at the bottom of the sidebar. The Select gadget dialog will appear. Click on the name of the gadget you would like to display; it will be immediately added. Note that you can have up to 15 gadgets at a time on the left sidebar, however only a subset of these will be onscreen at any given time depending on their heights. The sidebar can be scrolled using the arrow buttons   at the bottom. You can also resize the sidebar by dragging its right border to the width you like. 

If you don't need a previously added gadget anymore, you can remove it from the left sidebar. In order to do that, click the Show actions  button in its top right corner and choose Delete gadget from the menu; the gadget will be removed. If you've added many gadgets and like to quickly delete several of them, consider using the Customize gadgets dialog (accessible via the 'gear' button     at the bottom). This dialog displays a compact list of currently added gadgets; clicking the 'x' button  next to a gadget name will delete the gadget from the sidebar. This menu also allows you to rearrange the order of your gadgets by clicking and dragging their names into a new order. 

The Show actions menu (accessible from the button  at the top-right corner of each gadget) also allows you to detach or switch the gadget. Detaching means displaying the gadget in a separate window with an option to keep it above all other windows (for this purpose, click the 'pin'  button on top of the detached gadget). Switching means replacing a gadget with another: after clicking Switch gadget, you will see the Select gadget dialog where you can choose a gadget to replace the current one.

If you don't need any of the gadgets at the moment, you can hide the whole sidebar. In order to do that, click the Hide gadgets button  in the bottom left corner of the sidebar; the sidebar will be hidden. The button itself, however, will be kept where it belongs so that you can quickly unhide the sidebar once you need it again.

 

*tastytrade is no longer affiliated with TD Ameritrade. 

Watch Lists are one of the key thinkorswim features, and are virtually omnipresent in the platform. Briefly, a watch list is a collection of symbols grouped together along with market data of respective instruments. Sometimes, watch lists include or even completely consist of companies or derivatives that might be interesting to traders. They can also be constituents of an index like NASDAQ 100, the Dow Jones Industrials, or the S&P 500, to name a few. It is also possible to have symbols that are indicators of certain economic trends or industry groups which are not directly tradeable, but have an impact on products which are.

Being a very important functionality, Watch Lists have found application in many of thinkorswim features: Scanner, FX Global Currency Map, Stock Hacker, Use The News, and several others. You are also offered to view the full-scale Watch Lists interface available from MarketWatch -> Quotes. In this article, we are going to discuss the functionality of the Watch Lists gadget, however, it is similar for other tools where watch lists are present.

In the gadget title, you can find four controls: the watch list selector, the up/down arrow control , the 'clip' icon , and the Show actions button :

- Arrows allow you to easily switch between watch lists in a group: the up arrow will take you to the previous watch list in the set, and down arrow will take you to the next.  

- Clip icon  allows you to use the thinkorswim color-coded clipboard; it is a shortcut to link a component to another one. Clicking on the icon brings up a color-and-number selection menu. In this menu, you can click on a color so that your watch lists will be linked to all other thinkorswim components having the same color code. For example, choosing a green box will link all components that use green, even if they are in a different window. Tip: consider linking Watch Lists to the symbol selector and the Dashboard. This way, clicking through the watch list will automatically display corresponding symbols in the symbol selector and the Dashboard.

- The watchlist selector allows you to configure your watch lists. It is in the configuration menu that you can create, delete, and switch between the watch lists. Beside your personal watch lists, you can switch to any of the public, Lovers and losers, Top 10, and industry-based ones. In the same menu, you can also view your portfolio watch list, i.e., the watch list of symbols that have positions in the currently selected account.

After configuring your watch lists, you can customize every single one of them. The customization may include any of the following:

- Reordering the columns. To reorder, left-click on the column header and drag it to the position desired.

- Sorting by a column. To re-sort a watch list, click on the header of the column by which you would like to perform the sorting. An up arrow  will appear, which indicates the ascending sort. Clicking again will give the column a descending sort (indicated by a down arrow ). To return to the unsorted state, left click on the header a third time or right click on the header and choose No sorting.

- Changing the column set. To add or delete columns, right-click on the header and choose Customize... In the dialog window, you will see two areas: Available items and Current set. To add columns to your watch list, drag the desired ones to the Current set. If you need to delete a column from your watch list, find its title in the Current set, select it, and click Remove items. Click OK; your column set will be immediately updated.