Active Trader: Overview

The Active Trader tab is a thinkorswim interface designed especially for futures traders who can benefit from its handy bid/ask price ladder, one-click order entering, and high level of customization. This interface can be accessed by clicking Active Trader on the Trade tab.


When opened, the interface will display, by default, two identical sets of gadgets: Chart + Active Trader. The Active Trader consists of Big Buttons and AT Ladder. To the right of each set, there is a gadget control bar, which will help you add or remove gadgets to/from each set by clicking on the corresponding buttons: Trade, Times and Sales, Active Trader, Chart1, Chart2, Chart3, Dashboard, Level II, and Live News. Note that you can also use one of our predefined layouts by clicking  (Grid presets)  in the header. To customize the entire Active Trader grid (i.e., change the number of gadget sets), click  (Grid) in the top right corner.


This gadget is a miniature version of the thinkorswim Charts interface. It has the same functionality as the interface does, however, its display is optimized to fit a smaller screen area. Use the Chart’s symbol picker to specify the instrument to be used in the Active Trader.

Big Buttons

The Big Buttons panel consists of two customizable lines of trade command buttons; however, by default, it is shown collapsed so you can only see the upper line. To make the second line visible, click Show Buttons Area in the first line. By default, the first line contains the following buttons:

  • Buy Market adds a buying order for the current symbol at the market price. By default, the order confirmation dialog will be shown.
  • Sell Market adds a selling order for the current symbol at the market price. By default, an order confirmation dialog will be shown.
  • Clicking Cancel will provide you with the following options: Cancel All, Cancel All Buy, and Cancel All Sell. These will correspondingly cancel all working orders, all buy orders, and all sell orders in the Active Trader gadget.
  • Reverse will reverse your current position on the symbol chosen in the Active Trader. Example: if you have a +1 contract long for the current symbol, clicking Reverse will have the gadget sell 2 contracts. By default, an order confirmation dialog will be shown.
  • Flatten will close any open position for the current symbol and cancel all working orders.

The second line of the Big Buttons panel provides you with the following options:

  • Quantity is the number of contracts or shares that will be in your Active Trader orders.
  • Template defines the type of order to be sent: Single, OCO (One Cancels Other), and Trigger with one, two, or three brackets. OCO and Trigger orders in Active Trader are discussed here.
  • Auto send. Checking this box will allow you to skip order confirmation and send your order directly to the market. Note: we strongly recommend that you review your orders in the order confirmation dialog before sending; avoid using auto send unless you are absolutely sure it is safe.

Both lines of the panel are customizable: click the  (gear) icon to open the Customize dialog. Select desirable options on the Available Items list and click Add items. You can also remove unnecessary buttons by selecting them on the Current Set list and then clicking Remove Items. Click OK to update the Big Buttons panel.

  • Items Buy Bid and Sell Ask will be displayed in the panel as Join the Bid and Join the Ask, correspondingly. Clicking these buttons will have Active Trader issue a limit order to buy/sell at the current bid/ask price.
  • TIF stands for Time In Force. Adding this item to the current set will provide you with a drop-down list, where you can select the time in force for your orders: day or GTC (Good Till Canceled). Note that market orders must be sent as day orders, otherwise they will be rejected.

The Company Profile feature is available from the following interfaces:

  • Trade -> All Products. Click Company Profile in the header.
  • Use the News gadget. Click on a symbol and then click Company Profile in the gadget header.
  • Live news gadget. Type in a symbol and then click Company Profile.
  • Watchlists. Right-click on a symbol and choose More info on -> Company Profile.
  • Analyze -> Fundamentals. Type in a symbol to view company’s essential information and details provided by Trefis. Forecasting functionality is not available in this interface.

Note: not all symbols can be viewed in Company Profile. You can view a watchlist of all symbols for which the Company Profile is available: to do so, choose Company Profile in the watchlist selector.

The Company Profile window is divided into two parts: What Drives the Stock and Company OverviewCompany Overview is a Trefis report that covers subjects like Valuation HighlightsPotential Upside and Downside to Trefis PriceBusiness SummarySources of Value, and Key Trends.  The data in this overview will help you develop hypothetical scenarios that can be simulated in the What Drives the Stock section.

The first thing you see in What Drives the Stock is an interactive diagram of business divisions of the company whose stock you are researching. Each division is represented by default as percent of market capitalization and their block sizes are proportional to this percentage. To view it as estimated values, choose the corresponding option from the Show dropdown above. The whole diagram is accompanied by a Trefis price estimate and its difference from the current market price. A large difference between the Trefis estimate and the market price might suggest that the stock is somewhat mispriced by the market.

Click on a division to view available forecasts related to it. For example, clicking on the division responsible for cellphone production will provide you with forecasts of phone pricing or the number of phones sold. Note that some of the divisions have sub-divisions, for example, computer production may also suggest software and services or peripherals. In this case, the forecasts are displayed separately for each sub-division.

Clicking on a forecast will display a plot of the value being analyzed: its timespan normally includes five years before and seven years after the current date. Each forecast can be modified: drag the handles and watch the forecast change. By default, smooth editing is enabled (dragging any handle will move other handles along with it). To turn off the smooth editing so that the handles may be moved independently, click on the "graph"  icon above the forecast.

Modifying the forecasts may affect the division diagram and the estimated price. If any of the forecasts is modified, the system will display Your estimated price which may be different from the Trefis estimate and/or current market price. To reset the modified forecast, click the "revert"  icon above the forecast.

*Trefis information provided by Insight Guru, a separate, unaffiliated firm. Stock prices are impacted by numerous factors and estimates of prices in the future are not guaranteed.

When you send an order anywhere in TOS, it passes through multiple stages of its lifecycle. These stages are displayed as statuses in your Today's Activity panel on the Monitor tab. The following table explains all the possible statuses that an order might have once sent to the server:


The order is being submitted to the server after you click Confirm and send.

Wait trg

Order processing is pending until its triggering order is filled. Rules of order triggering are set in the Advanced order list of the Order Entry dialog.

Wait cond

Order processing is pending until the specified market condition is true. Market conditions are defined in the Order Rules dialog.

Wait stop

Order processing is pending until the specified stop condition is true. Stop conditions are defined in the Order Rules dialog.

Wait rev

Order processing is pending until it is approved either manually or automatically. This status is assigned to orders that require confirmation from the broker or a third party.


The submitted order is waiting for processing which cannot be performed now, e.g., due to trading hours limitations.


Order is ready to be processed either by the exchange or the Trade Desk operator or manually.


The accepted order is waiting for manual execution by the Trade Desk operator.


The order is being processed at the exchange.


Order processing is finished and the order is fully or partially filled.


The order is rejected by the exchange.


Order's time in force is up.

Not sent

The order cannot be sent to the server right now, e.g., due to connectivity problems.


The order is being replaced by another. This status is displayed when you send an edited order after the Cancel/replace command.


The order is successfully replaced upon your request.


The order is being canceled upon your request.


The order has been canceled successfully.


Cancel order is successfully processed.


Too late to cancel. The order has been already processed by the exchange.


The original order has been successfully canceled.