Left Sidebar

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.

Times and Sales is a thinkorswim gadget that provides you with more in-depth data on a specified instrument. This data includes records on time, price, and volume of each transaction completed for this instrument intraday. Like all other gadgets, Times and Sales can be displayed as a section of the left sidebar or a separate window (see the Left Sidebar article for details).

In the gadget header you will see the following elements: the symbol selector, the 'clip' icon , the full name of the symbol, the current market price of the selected symbol, and its percentage and absolute change since midnight. The clip icon brings up a color-and-number selection menu; choosing a color in this menu will link Times and Sales to all thinkorswim components with similar color. Consider linking Times and Sales to a watch list so that clicking through the latter will immediately display the corresponding symbols in Times and Sales.

Once you have selected the symbol, the working area of the gadget will display the transaction records sorted by transaction time, newest first. By default, the gadget will also display the price and the volume of each recorded transaction. The list of records is refreshed every five minutes and transactions older than that are removed. Viewing all recorded transactions might be unnecessary sometimes, so you can filter the records by size of the transaction. Click on the header of the Size column and select the desirable size range from the drop-down so only records that fit into this range will be displayed. You can also specify a custom range by clicking Customize Size Filter in this drop-down.

If you need to load additional trading data into Times and Sales, you can customize the columns. Right-click anywhere in the table header and choose Customize. In the dialog window, customize the set of columns: in addition to the default ones, you can add instrument's bid and ask values and also the exchange where the transaction was completed (marked by letter X in the Available Items list). Note that in Times and Sales, the exchanges are named using a one-letter code; the full list of codes can be found here.

Watch Lists are one of the key thinkorswim features, and are virtually omnipresent in the platform. 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 that 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.