Please help a newb with Platform and Tools

Discussion in 'Trading Software' started by transparenttrader, Apr 28, 2020.

  1. Hi all, I'll keep the intro short and then get to my questions. I'm a new trader, been interested in it for years, finally diving in, and doing it right. I have a secure and well paying job in tech, so I view trading as a potential side income I'd do part time. I want to take every step right, I'm willing to do the work for years with no expectation of profit, that's fine with me. I'm consuming copious amounts of blogs, youtubes, and just finished "How to day trade for a living," and have 3-4 books queued up. I'm also practicing simulated trading daily, learning something every day.

    And that gets to the crux of my problem I need guidance on. Platform and tools. I'm software engineer, and a commandline and keyboard wizard. I live in vim, which won't mean much to most, but suffice to say, my fingers can fly. For this reason, I really want a Platform with first class hotkey support along with everything else. And yes Tradestation appears to have that, but I have quite a few issues with their hotkeys personally that I'll elaborate on.

    Ultimately here is what I want to find:
    • A platform that has the ability to bind hotkeys to everything, and toggleable hotkeys, not just a hotkey to add something.
    • Easy ability to switch chart time intervals with hotkeys
    • Easy ability to toggle indicators on charts
    • Window switching that is instantaneous (Tradestation has this weird 500ms-1s delay when you switch to a window where it re-draws the window with the window's menu)
    • Great stock scanner.

    I recently discovered which can hook to Tradestation, and I absolutely love how they implemented their charting and indicators and strategies, but their hotkey support, especially for order entry, is pretty bad. I'm not even particularly looking for anything complicated, just something with first class hotkey support. I will still give Tradestation credit that they allow you to bind a hotkey to just about anything and also macros, where you could do anything (though I can't figure out how to remove an indicator with a macro).

    I've tried ToS, not my cup of tea, too simple, hotkey support wasn't great at all, especially for order entry.

    I've not tried Ninjatrader though I've heard good things.

    It's likely that I'll need a combination of tools and no one tool will satisfy, but I just don't know, I'm too new. I'm also tempted to use Tradestation's api to just write my own command line order entry tool to customize it exactly how I want, I looked at the API, for me it'd be pretty straight forward.

    Here are some of my Notes on Tradestation vs. Tradingview. Any and all input would be greatly appreciated. And maybe someone has a recommendation for a platform or tool I've not used or heard of, I'd love to hear that too.



    • Extemely professional feeling
    • When actually focused on a window feels lightening fast
    • Order entry and execution is excellent, great hotkey support for making bracketed orders and then adjusting them on the fly all with the keyboard, killer feature for me.
    • Wealth of indicators and such
    • Macros and hotkeys are unparalleled


    • Zooming in and out in charts, just can't get used to how Tradestation does it.
    • Can't find the right mouse/shortcut setup for chart scaling and such, it just doesn't feel right.
    • I have yet to find a good middleground with changing intervals, I have them all hotkeyed, but if I hotkey to say 5 for 5min, then I can't actually use 5 for anything, like setting share size, very annoying.
    • Can't toggle indicators with hotkeys. Yes I can macro them with a hotkey to add them, or I can add them on the command line, but I want my charts clean, and only if I want to analyze something do I want to quickly toggle say RSI/MACD, ect. I can add those, but then I have to manually remove them, I want to just toggle them on and off.
    • Don't like the screener, and I mean I really don't like it. The Radar app is limited in it's filtering, can only filter by 5 criteria, the Scanning for stocks is extremely slow, and the hotlists are just pre-defined.


    • Cloud saved templates and layouts are amazing
    • Shortcut and searching indicators couldn't be easier
    • Beautiful fast and sleek interface
    • Love how strategies are implemented

    • Order entry very rudimentary with no templates, OSOs, limited shortcuts, pretty frustrating
    • Level 2 seems laggy and doesn't have as much info as Tradestation or ToS. I did put Tradestation and Tradingview side by side and TradingView was almost exact, maybe only 100-200ms lag if any, but it just feels too simple.


    • There are hotkeys to buy limit/stop and sell however there appears to be no way to automatically check those Take Profit and Stop Loss check boxes. Ultimately I want instant orders with automatic brackets.
      • Also I'm a front-end developer and I'm fine hacking it and writing a chrome extension to do that for me, but there appears to be no common class or id on those check boxes to toggle. Not that I can't work around that, but not as easy to work with
      • Shift+b always puts me in a market order by default, how can I do a limit order with shift+b?
    • Shortcuts are relatively limited
    • When pressing / to open indicators the Search input box is not automatically focused
    • No OSOs
    • No ability to trade on the mobile app
    • No screener on the mobile app
  2. Sekiyo


    Thanks for keeping it short
  3. I said intro, which was 1 paragraph, I never said I'd keep the post short :) Do you have help or advice for me or just meta commenting?
    Sekiyo likes this.
  4. Sekiyo


    Last edited: Apr 28, 2020
  5. Lots of the Hot Key junkies on TS use AutoHotKey. Suggest checking out NinjaTrader and MultiCharts. I use Ninja, TS, and MC. All have their strong points.
  6. qlai


    I also live in vim, and that is why I will recommend DAS Trader which is third party software that allows you to trade with IB. It's not free, but very flexible with hot keys. Since you are a tech geek, it is only a matter of time before you start looking into IB API, so you can do things the "right" way :)
  7. apdxyk


    Are you comfortable with Kolmogorov's work on Probability?
    I would pay more attention to Risk and Probability during your internship years.
    All those technological nuances are from the shortcut realm. They matter not if you dig the game...