User Guide

This page is a Getting Started guide for new users. Please start below if you are new.

Also: you will find one frequently-asked question about chart types addressed below.

Once you're comfortable with the basic introduction on this page, please move on to the Reference to Features; and begin with the highlighted pages.



Getting Started

Prerequisite: Installing NinjaTrader® 7 and a Data Provider

If you have NinjaTrader® up and running, please continue. NinjaTrader® offers a generous unlimited free demo, including live streaming data. If you need to install, or if you need to renew a live data demo, please see: NinjaTrader's® Downoad Page. (Select NinjaTrader® version 7; and choose "Yes, I would like to receive FREE LIVE MARKET DATA".) NinjaTrader® will email you full installation instructions and a setup guide. You will get a second email with the user and password for a free data demo. We love NinjaTrader® here, and it works without issue and is an easy installation.

NinjaTrader® is a rich platform. The three things you will need in order to get Auction Dashboard™ up and running will be: set up your data provider (simply follow the instructions in the email). When that is set up, you can connect from: Control Center / File / Connect. Next you may want to set up your default instruments. NinjaTrader® does come already set up with a list of frequently used instruments ready to go. If you will be working with specific instruments, visit: Control Center / Tools / Instrument Manager. In this window, on the left you will see your default instrument list. On the right is the full list of available instruments. You can select any instrument here, and click the "<" left arrow button to add it to your default instrument list on the left. (Notice that not all instruments are supported by all providers and brokers: live data will not be available for every instrument in this list.) Lastly, you just need to install Auction Dashboard™. Continue reading here.

Installing

Installation is simple: in the Control Center, choose File / Utilities / Import NinjaScript®. Select the AuctionDashboard.zip file that you have downloaded (preferably our most current version). If this is your first time installing, that's all there is to it. Auction Dashboard™ is now ready for use. If you are replacing an existing version, NinjaTrader® will ask you to confirm the replacement: choose yes for all components, and you will just need to restart NinjaTrader® in that case. If you need more help, see: Installing and Uninstalling.

Running

Auction Dashboard™ will appear in NinjaTrader® as an Indicator. You will open a new chart window with your desired instrument. From there, you open the Indicators dialog on your chart, and add the AuctionDashboard Indicator there. Auction Dashboard™ then begins running in your chart window; and this is your Dashboard. You are also free to add any other indicators to this chart: it is always still a fully functioning regular NinjaTrader® chart window.

To create a new chart, choose: Control Center / File / New / Chart. Continue reading for instrument and chart Type selections.

Auction Dashboard™ controls visual features from its own menus on the chart: the Chart Style and Price Marker color will be managed by Auction Dashboard™.

Instrument Selection

Auction Dashboard™ will work with any instrument that NinjaTrader® supports. All available data is as your data provider, broker, and platform configurations provide. You need to make no changes or configurations to begin working.

If you want a suggestion for an instrument: we selected a thinner instrument here. If this is your first time working with Auction Dashboard™, that may allow you to see more of the order flow unfolding while you are experimenting with views and settings. Each instrument's market will have unique properties exposed by the Dashboard, and some settings will vary based on the instrument's volume, price action, spreads, and other factors. We don't mean to imply that you will instantly be able to trade the thinner instrument; only that you may see more events in sequence, exercise Auction Dashboard's™ features, and get some idea about the displays if events come by more slowly. On the other hand, if it is too thin, you may prefer to see more volume accumulating with a thicker instrument. Obviously, please work with any instruments you want to see in action; and you can open as many charts as your hardware can handle.

Chart Type

Auction Dashboard™ will also work with any chart Type that NinjaTrader® supports. At first, because Auction Dashboard's™ chart is so rich, it may seem that we are doing all of the charting. But in fact, it is NinjaTrader® that will be building the bar structure in terms of the period, and/or reversals. Therefore, the settings you make here for the Period are what determine how the bars break.

Chart Suggestion:

Our suggestion is the Point And Figure; with the settings shown here. You may adjust the reversal size for the market or your strategies. The reason only is in the fact that we are using an order flow tool, and the reversals on price action are very relevant with order flow.

Selecting more Days To Load will allow Auction Dashboard™ to be able to BackFill historical data on the chart. By default, it will begin a TPO reconstruction of the current session and five prior sessions, to provide you with session volume profiles. You can BackFill with Bid and Ask data when you want more detail.

Add The Indicator

On the new chart, open the Indicators dialog to add Auction Dashboard™.

In this dialog, select AuctionDashboard in the list on the left, and choose New. You need to make no settings for the Indicator here. Auction Dashboard™ manages its own settings from the user interface on the chart.

We recommend adding Auction Dashboard™ alone for now. When you have more of an idea about what is built into the Dashboard, you can adjust your workflow accordingly. You will find a lot of data and information in the chart as it stands.

Auction Dashboard™ will then begin printing the live streaming data on the chart. (Be sure you are connected to your data provider.)

Side Note About "Auto Scale" on NinjaTrader® Charts

The price axis on NinjaTrader® charts has a feature termed "Auto Scaling". When enabled, NinjaTrader® will force all visible bars into the chart window (and any Indicators or Drawing Objects you have set to Auto Scale). The picture to the right shows how NinjaTrader® charts toggle auto scale on and off. You only need to be aware of the "Fixed" icon on the chart to get around as you expect.

If you do add other Indicators to the chart that plot visually on top of the bars (like Pivots or a moving average), you should typically disable the Auto Scale feature in the Indicators dialog. You do not need to adjust this setting for Auction Dashboard™ itself. If an Indicator is Auto Scaled, it will always be forced into the chart window. The Auction Dashboard™ chart takes more screen real estate than a standard chart, because it's printing text at every price: this simply commands a lot more screen space than a standard chart. Therefore, the price axis does not have as much room to try and fit indicators at distant prices: you need to have enough space for the text. In most cases, you will prefer to disable auto scale on other indicators. Notice that this doesn't apply to Indicators that plot in panels on the bottom of the chart.

Auction Dashboard™ will be doing work to manage the chart scale: when Auto Scale is enabled on the chart, then Auction Dashboard™ will fit text. You can control settings with the PopUp button on the chart. If you fix the chart scale, then Auction Dashboard™ doesn't override that.

Side Note About ForEx

Auction Dashboard™ will be printing all of the data streaming in from your provider. This will include level-2 data if your instrument supports a level 2 book. ForEx does not have level-2 data; and so by default, Auction Dashboard™ will change the level-2 display to show you what we call "Left Behind Ask and Bid Depth" — it is simply the contracts left on the bid as price ticks up and away; or on the offer as price ticks down. This will give you a unique edge. We point it out so you are aware of what is displayed there.

Also, since ForEx is heavily bid-based, Time and Sales prints tend to show a lot of selling (a lot of trades hit the bid). Auction Dashboard's™ True Auction™ Balance volume factors limit order information into the displayed volumes and profiles. This view can provide a much clearer picture of actual balances accumulating in the bars. You can easily toggle this on and off to experiment.

First Stops in Auction Dashboard™

If you have Auction Dashboard™ running, we'll make a few observations about the display on a new chart.

Tips (And How to Create Composites)

You will find an item in the main menu with Tips about some useful features; primarily using Keystrokes. Essentially any feature in Auction Dashboard™ can be found in a menu item or setting window; yet in the current version, the only way to create Composite Volum Profiles is as found here — Alt-Click-Click on bars. Other tips here make getting around quicker; but we want to point out the composites specifically.

Font Size

Auction Dashboard™ will use the font that is set in your Chart Properties. You can adjust Auction Dashboard's™ font size with the option in the main menu. Enable Auto Scale on your chart so that you can see the effects properly. Adjust the size, and the line spacing to suit your taste. If Auto Scale is enabled on your chart, you should see the adjustments as you make changes.

Note: if you change the Font on an open chart in NinjaTrader's® Chart Properties dialog, then NinjaTrader® will not notify Auction Dashboard™ about the change. You can visit the Font Size window here and Auction Dashboard™ will then pick up on any changes you have made.

Reconstructed Data

The chart begins printing all of the live volume. Auction Dashboard™ also performs a TPO reconstruction of some historical sessions on your chart. It does this primarily to provide the session and overlay profiles. TPO data is estimated price-by-price: the actual volume at each price, and buying and selling is estimated here. So you will likely see that in the TPO bars.

You can reconstruct more historical data on the chart, and also load data with Bid/Ask updates, which increases the resolution and will yield valuable level-1 data. Use the BackFill options in the main menu when you're ready for that.

Cheat Sheet