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. 

Level II is a thinkorswim gadget that displays best ask and bid prices for each of the exchanges making markets in stocks, options, and futures. It is essentially a real-time ordered list of best bids and asks of an underlying that allows instant order placement. Like all other gadgets, Level II 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 Level II to all thinkorswim components with similar color. Consider linking Level II to a watch list so that clicking through the latter will immediately display the corresponding symbols in Level II.

For stocks and options, Level II is a color-coded display of best bid and ask prices from a given set of exchanges. Use the toggle in the upper right corner of the working area to switch between the pre-defined sets (books): Level II, NASDAQ Full Book, and BATS/EDGE Full Book. For futures, since they each trade on a single exchange, Level II displays first several layers of that exchange's book.

When you specify the symbol in the symbol selector, you will see the real-time quotes in the working area. The working area is divided into two sets of columns: bid-related (to the left) and ask-related (to the right). These columns identify the marketplace or market maker at the given bid or ask price with respective number of shares to be bought or sold (ask/bid size). In both ask and bid size columns, the numbers represent hundreds of available shares or contracts: for example, 3 in the bid size column means that there are 300 shares or contracts ready to be bought at the respective bid price at the respective exchange.

Since the purpose of Level II is providing you with best bid ask prices, the columns are sorted accordingly. By default, the bid area of the gadget is sorted in descending order by the bid price column, so that highest prices are on top. As it might be expected, the ask side is sorted vice versa: the default sorting displays lowest prices on top. You can re-sort the columns in the reverse order by clicking on the Bid or Ask title, or sort the set by exchange name or bid/ask price by clicking the title of respective column.

Level II enables you to add orders instantly. Click on a bid price in Level II to add a sell order; clicking on an ask price will prompt you to add a buy order.