Studies Guide


Note: The most important factors to know are 1) What is the data “Based On” and 2) Which Chart Region is it located? More on this HERE

Make sure to view the mini-guide for common Sierra Chart studies HERE


Basics of a Study and Adding Study to Chart

A chart does not come with studies applied. To begin:

  • Open a new chart and load a symbol
  • SC Menu: Analysis > Studies (alternatively, press F4, or add a Studies button to control bar).
  • Select any study from the left column, and then press Add>>
  • Select the study (I used Standard Deviation Bands) and click Settings
  • See Image (Press Arrow)
    1. Based On. Default is Main Price Graph. However when you want to apply a certain study to data other than price, change the Based On value to another study. Example: Apply a moving average study to a graph, and change Based On to another study. This will calculate the moving average of another study. This is how Sierra Chart know what existing studies to apply the current study to.
    2. Chart Region. Chart region 1 is the top area of a charting graph. By default, this is the primary location for price data. To apply a study to the primary chart region of 1, the value must be set to 1. Max 12 regions per graph.
    3. Multiple studies can be applied to the same chart region. Note: If user is facing issues with where studies are drawn, then check which Chart Region each study is drawn to.


Outline of Subgraphs

Each study is given an ID. The data displayed on chart graphs within studies are called Subgraphs.

Example: Using the Bid Ask Volume Ratio study, Sierra Chart has given this study the ID number of 1. The subgraphs are labeled as SG1 and SG2 respectively.


Quite often it’s important to identify these ID’s and subgraph numbers:

  • Spreadsheet and alert formulas
  • Setting the precedence for any study to be based on
  • Referencing and combining studies

For Subgraph settings and visual design:

  • Open a chart book that has any study applied
  • SC Menu:Analysis > Studies > Settings
  • Switch to the Subgraphs tab
  • Adjust settings and visuals as needed. Common changes:
    • Graph Draw Type: Adjust between candlesticks, lines, OHLC, etc
    • Width/Size: Adjust as needed
    • Draw Style: How the data is drawn on the chart. Line at Last Bar to Edge is great for right margin
    • Name Label: Check the Name Label box to display label
    • Value Label: To put a price label on the price axis
    • Include in spreadsheet to include or exclude that study from the spreadsheet
    • All the other boxes containing “Display” can be unchecked to hide the excessive text from the chart, recommend this for cleaning up charts

Mini-Guides For Key Studies Used By Traders

Time to take a look at a few common studies with some basic overview on them. Highly recommended to view official documentation on each study for more details.

For more advanced concepts, CLICK HERE

Each of these can be found within the Studies window. Click the arrows to expand:

Adding Common Intraday Levels to Chart

To add common intraday levels to a chart either add the specific study to a chart, or reference the value from another chart or formula. Common studies to pull this data include:

  • Daily OHLC (RTH open, high, low, and closing values)
  • Period OHLC - Variable Period (overnight, prior session)
    • Set the time period length to 1 to achieve this
  • Current Price Line (see last price, bid, or ask)
  • High/Low for Time Period - Extended (overnight High, Low, Middle)
  • Initial Balance (first hour of trade, or another custom time amount)
  • Volume By Price (vpoc, value area, and other volume related levels)

Tip: Under Study Settings > Subgraphs tab > Draw Style will determine how these levels are drawn. It’s common to use the Right Margin space by setting Draw Style to Line at Last Bar To Edge

Any Spreadsheet study

On the list of Studies Available there are 5 variations of spreadsheet studies. Basics:

  • Title Bar: Analysis > Studies > select by clicking any Spreadsheet study from the list (Example: Spreadsheet Study for Trading
  • Add
  • Settings


  1. Give the spreadsheet a name
  2. Change the input values for the different inputs. Common Examples:
    • Number of rows: 10 (adding too many lines may decrease performance)
    • Allow Multiple Entries in Same Direction: No
    • Allow Entry With Working Orders: Yes
    • If many empty columns are needed for formulas, change Number of Formula Columns to a higher value

    • Switch to the Subgraphs Tab
    • Adjust Draw Styles as needed. Example: Change the buy signal to a triangle
  3. Create buy/sell signals and formulas as needed. More on this HERE
Overnight OHLC values

High/Low For Time Period - Extended study

  • Adjust Start/End times to over night session times
  • (Optional) Hide Study is checked
  • OK
Relative Volume
  • Open a chart
  • Title Bar: Analysis > Studies (Or Studies on the control bar)
  • Relative Volume

Relative volume stores various volume data. These can be drawn on graphs or used within spreadsheets or other studies. This includes:

  • Relative Volume
  • Cumulative Volume Ratio
  • Cumulative Volume
  • Cumulative Volume Average Cumulative Volume Difference
Study Subgraph Studies math - All (Click Arrow)
  1. Study Subgraph studies - all. These are used to make calculations using one or more studies. Inputs are set using either the Based On dropdown and/or within the Input Name section as shown below:
  1. Study/Price Overlay

This is mainly used to overlay one study to another chart or region of the same chart. In this example a study from 1 chart will be overlaid onto chart 2. This is common for calculated values.

  • Open the ‘Studies’ menu for the chart you want to overlay a study onto
  • Add>> the ‘Study/Price Overlay from the list and press OK
  • Open Settings for the Study Settings for Study/Price Overlay
  • Under Input Name, select the Study to Overlay, as pictured below
  • Select the exact study from the lower dropdown list outline as shown below
  • Choose the Chart Region location for the overlay, I chose Chart Region 3 as shown below:
  • image

b. Study Subgraphs Subtract/Difference

This is for taking two studies and subtracting them, not to be mistaken for Study Subgraph Subtract, which is for subtracting a specified value from a study.

How To:

  • Open the Studies menu from the chart you want to apply the study
  • Add>> the ‘Study Subgraphs Subtract/Difference study
  • Open settings for that study
  • In this example, the Main Price Graph is used under Based On drop down, but a study can be used too, as shown below
  • Input Study 1 is value X1 used in the calculation
  • Input Study 2 is value X2 used in the calculation, choose the desired studies, such as bar High - Bar Close

Now that this study provides a value based on Input Study 1 and 2, it will be drawn on the chart graph. It can be referenced or used in calculations from other studies and spreadsheets.

Time Range Highlight - Highlight time ranges (overnight session)
  • Open a chart
  • Title Bar: Analysis > Studies (Or Studies on the control bar)
  • Time Range Highlight
  • Add
  • Settings
  • Input the Start Time and End Time to highlight
  • Switch to Subgraphs tab to make design changes
TPO Profile Chart - Market Profile (Click Arrow)

Note: A TPO example chart is included with this download, consider following along using that as reference

Add TPO to a chart

  • Open a chart
  • Title Bar: Analysis > Studies (Or Studies on the task bar)
  • Add>> the TPO Profile Chart study and press OK

For more advanced TPO concepts, CLICK HERE

  • Open a chart
  • Title Bar: Analysis > Studies (Or Studies on the control bar)
  • Volume
Volume Footprint Chart - Number Bars

Sierra Chart offers extensive volume footprint charting. From total volume, bid x ask, trades, and more.

To create a footprint chart:

  • Open a chart window
  • Title Bar: Analysis > Studies (Or Studies on the task bar)

There are 3 main columns that can all be populated with text, profiles, or candles

Volume By Price - Volume Profile and Delta Profile (Click Arrow)

Volume Profile can use a fixed time amount or intraday profiles. In the example a 30 day profile and intraday profiles will be applied to a blank chart.

Quick Tips: There is a volume profile chart included with this handbook

Add Volume Profiles

  • Open chart
  • Title Bar: Analysis > Studies (Or Studies on the task bar)
  • select Volume By Price study
  • click Add >>
  • Click Settings
  • For INTRADAY Profiles the Input Values to change would be:
    • Ticks Per Volume Bar: 1
    • Volume Graph Period Type: Multiple Profiles Based On Fixed Time
    • Number Of Days to Calculate Volume Profiles: 30
  • For Number Of Days Profiles the Input Values to change would be:
    • Volume Graph Period Type: All Bars In Chart
    • Number Of Days To Calculate Volume Profiles: To Desired Value

Choose Volume Bar Calculation Method (including Delta profiles)

  • Open chart
  • Title Bar: Analysis > Studies (Or Studies on the task bar)
  • select Volume By Price study (or add it if haven’t already)
  • Settings
  • Change the input value for: Volume Bar Calculation Method
    • Total Volume
    • Ask Volume - Bid Volume (is for delta)
    • Others
  • Switch to the Subgraphs tab to adjust styling

Multiple Profiles in Right Margin

Tip: There is a chartbook included with this handbook containing multiple profiles linked HERE

  • Open chart
  • Title Bar: Analysis > Studies (Or Studies on the task bar)
  • select Volume By Price study (or add it if haven’t already)
  • Settings
  • Change:
    • Volume Graph Period Type: All Bars in Chart
    • Number of Days to Calculate Volume Profiles: 60
    • Right Align Volume Bars: Yes
Example Settings for 60 day Volume Profile, in right margin (Click Arrow)

Volume Profile Settings Tips: - To change how much of the window or day a profile covers, change the Maximum Volume Bar Width Percentage from 70 to something lower, 20. - The first dropdown menu for input ‘Draw Mode’ can be switched to also display the Value areas, point of control, and VWAP - Switch a profile side from default left to right, using setting: Right Align Volume Bars to Yes

Customize Draw Style for Study

In many cases a study will reference downloaded data, but the user must configure studies in a way to visualize the data as desired. Example: Viewing the result of a calculation between two studies into a histogram draw style.

There are a few main critical settings and inputs for the draw style of any study:

Scale Settings: Easily switch to a zero based, or zero centered scale range.

  • Add a study to any region of a chart
  • Right click the Axis of the applied study
  • Scale Settings
  • Switch to Automatic Zero-Based or Zero-Centered

Study Subgraphs Settings, more on this HERE

  • Open a chart containing a study
  • SC Menu: Analysis > Studies (or click the Studies button from a custom Control Bar button)
  • Select by clicking the study to change the style of
  • Settings
  • Switch to the Subgraphs tab
  • Adjust the Graph Draw type, and Draw Styles as needed:
  • image

Hiding/Unhide Studies

Often studies will be applied to a chart but the user wants these hidden though functional.

Hide entire study:

  • Open a chart containing at least 1 study
  • SC Menu > Analysis > Studies (or click Studies from the Control Bar)
  • Select by clicking the desired study to hide
  • Check the Hide box
  • OK

Hide/Show subgraphs of study:

  • Open a chart containing at least 1 study
  • SC Menu > Analysis > Studies (or click Studies from the Control Bar)
  • Click Settings
  • Switch to Subgraphs tab
  • Select any subgraph to hide/unhide
  • Draw Style > Choose any style from drop downPerformingden’ to hide

Performing Math Calculations Using Studies

Here are two methods to perform calculations:

  1. Use of study subgraph math studies
    • Multiply, Subtract, Divide/Ratio, Add, etc
    • These can be found on SC Menu: Analysis > Studies (or hit Studies on Control Bar)

  2. Spreadsheet based calculations and formulas. See HERE for more on this

Basics of Study Naming and Labeling Studies

It’s best practices to keep studies organized and named effectively for when cross references are made or there are many studies on one graph. Various study names and labeling:

  1. Assign a study a name; visible in study settings, data folder, spreadsheets, and data exports:
    • Open any chart containing the desired study to change the name of
    • SC Menu: > Analysis > Studies (or click studies on the Control Bar)
    • Select by clicking the desired study to change name of
    • Click Settings
    • Short Name > “Study Name Anything”
    • OK
  2. Label Naming and Coloring, to see values near the Axis of the chart:
    • Open any chart containing studies to add labels to
    • SC Menu: > Analysis > Studies (or click studies on the Control Bar)
    • Select by clicking the study in which to add a label to
    • Click Settings
    • Switch to the Subgraphs tab
    • Click the desired subgraph to add a label to
    • Short Name > “Name for Subgraph Anything”
    • Check or un-check the Name Label and Value label respectively
    • From the Horizontal Align drop-down list choose the desired alignment, Right Side Value is standard
    • Tip: There is also a Label color box selection on the same subgraphs settings window as above. It’s also possible to select Reverse Colors from the same subgraphs tab if preferred.

More on Name Labeling here

Adding Text To Charts

Two main options are a Text Tool or Text Display For Study.

Text tool:

  • Open any chart
  • SC Menu: Tools > Type Text
  • Click the chart to add the tool
  • Right click to adjust settings

Tip: Save as custom configuration using preferred Options to quickly add properly formatted text to charts

Study Text Display:

This is for displaying values of studies on charts, with the ability to add custom text

  • Open any chart
  • SC Menu: Analysis > Studies (Or click Studies on the Control Bar)
  • add Text Display For Study study
  • Settings
    • Study and Subgraph to Display: Choose the desired study to display value of
    • Prefix or Suffix Text: Type any text here to display on chart

Tip: To change appearance switch to the Subgraphs tab of the study settings


Save Studies as a Group - Apply Study Groups to Charts

A great way to save time from the repetitive task of adding a study then setting it up across multiple charts is to just save studies as a group:

  • Select by clicking the desired chart window containing studies
  • SC Menu: Analysis > Studies (or click studies on the Control Bar)
  • Under Save Studies As Study Collection give the collection a name “example”
  • Optional: Check the Promt to Remove Existing Studies box
  • Save All

Then, to access the saved collection:

  • Open any chart window
  • SC Menu: Analysis > Click the saved collection “example”

Note: The collection will also be saved in the User/SierraChart/Data data folder with the same name, and can be shared with other users

Show Drawings From Other Charts (Or Chartbooks)

SC Menu: Chart > Chart Settings > [Chart Drawings] > Copy Chart Drawings From Chart #’s

To draw from charts in same chartbook: Type in the number of the desired drawings chart (Example 2)

To draw from charts located in a different chartbook: Type the Chartbook name, followed by the Chart number

#This means reference Chartbook 2, drawings from chart 3:


[Chartbook Name] : [Chartbook Number]

How to Access a custom DLL study From a Third-Party Developer

  • Provide the developer the Sierra Chart User name
    • If unsure of user name: SC Menu:Help > About > see User name
  • Open any chart window
  • SC Menu: Analysis > Studies (or click Studies on control bar)
  • Add Custom Study
  • If User has been added by the developer, the developers name will be on the list
  • Find and select the study desired
  • Add

Tip: Usually developers don’t add the User immediately, consider waiting 24 hours. RESTART SIERRA CHART before contacting any developer.

Study Value Formatting

Sometimes the format of the downloaded needs to be changed. This is typically for changing decimal places, switching to fractions, and switching to percent based values.

To change the format:

  • Open any chart containing studies
  • SC Menu: Analysis > Studies (or click Studies on control bar)
  • Select by clicking the desired study to change the formatting of
  • Click Settings
  • Choose a new value from Value Format dropdown list
  • OK

Layering Studies

Some studies will visually interfere with bar data or other studies.

To send a study to a lower layer:

  • Open a chart with studies on it
  • SC Menu: Analysis > Studies > Select the study to be moved > click Settings
  • Now checkmark Draw Study Underneath Main Price Graph
  • OK

Documentation for Studies

Default studies come with very detailed descriptions. To view:

  • SC Menu: Analysis > Studies (or click Studies on control bar)
  • Select by clicking any study from the provided studies available list
  • Click Show Study Description
  • (Web browser opens with description)

◀️Previous Module: 📉Studies Introduction

▶️Next Module: 🧭Advanced Study Concepts

Back To Handbook Home

📊Sierra Chart Master Handbook - Unofficial

Please be aware that the information contained in this handbook is not intended to be and should not be taken as financial advice. The creator is not a financial advisor and the materials provided should not be relied upon in making any financial decisions. Any actions taken based on the information contained in this handbook are taken at the reader's own risk and the creator will not be held liable for any losses or damages resulting from such actions.

In addition, the creator is not a registered broker or financial advisor in the United States and the materials contained in this handbook do not constitute financial advice or a recommendation to buy or sell any financial instrument. The creator does not endorse or recommend any particular investment strategy and the reader should not rely on any information contained in this handbook as the basis for making any investment decisions.

Furthermore, past performance is not indicative of future results and the reader should be aware that trading futures, crypto, stocks, and NFTs carries a high degree of risk and the possibility of significant losses. The reader should carefully consider their financial situation and seek independent financial advice before making any investment decisions.

The creator of this handbook is not an expert and the materials contained within are provided for educational and entertainment purposes only. No material contained in this handbook suggests a specific method or strategy for investing or trading, and under no circumstances should anything contained in this handbook or any related materials be considered as financial advice.

Please also be aware that some pages within this handbook may contain affiliate links that pay the creator a small commission at no additional cost to the reader. The inclusion of these links does not constitute a recommendation or endorsement of the products or services being advertised and the reader should carefully evaluate the suitability of any product or service before making a purchase.

By accessing and using the materials contained in this handbook, the reader acknowledges and agrees to the terms of this disclaimer and releases the creator from any liability for financial losses or damages resulting from the reader's use of the materials contained within. It is possible to lose more than the value of a trading account. Nothing within this handbook is advice or a recommendation to the reader. Any damages or losses following changes the reader makes to Sierra Chart after reading material within this handbook the creator should not be held liable. This handbook is NOT created by Sierra Chart and is not an official handbook to Sierra Chart. Each purchase only grants the user associated with the email provided on checkout for lifetime access. Trading is risky.