Getting Started with TradeStation

Install TradeStation according to the manufacturer’s instructions.  If you need help with the installation, call the TradeStation folks; they are very friendly and helpful in the Technical Assistance department.

Assuming TradeStation is installed on your computer, find the TradeStation icon on your computer’s desktop.  It will look something like the icon in Figure 1.  Double-click this icon to start running the TradeStation program.

Figure 1:  TradeStation Icon

Logon to TradeStation by entering your User Name and Password.  If you don’t know what these are, they should be found on the invoice you received from the TradeStation folks.  If you can’t find that, call the friendly customer service folks at TradeStation.

Figure 2:  Logon Screen

From the blank main screen you need to open a Workspace to put the various windows into.  Charts go into Workspaces, RadarScreen grids go into Workspaces, Level II Screens (Market Depth) go into Workspaces, so you must first create a workspace in which to hold these other various elements.  You can either create a workspace from the File → New menu bar, or you can have it automatically created for you by double-clicking on the Chart Analysis icon, which will both create a new workspace and create a new chart at the same time.  I find that getting accustomed to the “long-cut” is a better habit, as double-clicking the Chart Analysis icon will also create a new chart in an already existing workspace.

Figure 3:  Main TradeStation Screen

The Chart Analysis icon is the second icon down on the left-hand side, under Tools on the Main TradeStation Screen.


In Figure 4 I have already clicked on the Chart Analysis icon, which created a new Workspace and a new Chart.  On the chart is the default or first symbol TradeStation assumes.  It will be different on your version, most likely.

By simply typing the letters on your keyboard, you can change the Chart to a different symbol, for instance type IBM, and then press Enter.  The Chart will automatically change to the chart of the new symbol.

Figure 4: A Workspace with a Chart of QQQQ

To enlarge or diminish the size of the chart, place your cursor over the bottom right corner of the chart, and the cursor will turn into a double-headed arrow. Click (hold) and Drag, using the Left Mouse Button.  Let go of the Left Mouse button when the chart is the size you want it.  This is one way to make the chart fill the whole screen, or size it ¼ of the screen so you can put 4 charts on the screen.

You can create another chart in the same Workspace by clicking again on the Chart Analysis icon.

Figure 5: Second chart in the same Workspace.

By default, TradeStation places one chart behind the other (cascades).  But what if you want to see them both at the same time?  Let’s use the Windows | Arrange command from the top menu bar now.  To stack the charts one on top of the other, use Window | Arrange Horizontally, and you will net the arrangement in Figure 6.  Now you can see two charts on the same relative time scale.

To view a particular date click on the “Global Vertical Chart Status” icon on the top row of icons.  It looks like this:

I fondly call it the Sticky Bar, because when you let go of the mouse button, the vertical line sticks in place on the chart.

Figure 6: Charts arranged horizontally

Figure 7:  File | New


Figure 8:  New What?

Now you need to choose what new thing it is you want to put on the blank desktop.  The first thing you want to put down is called a Workspace.

Click now on the tab that says Workspace and you will come to the screen seen in Figure 8.

Figure 9:  Blank Workspace

There is only one thing to choose under this tab, “Blank Workspace,” so let’s choose it.  Click on the Blank Workspace icon, and then click on OK.

Books to Read:

  • Getting Started in Trading by Sunny J. Harris
  • Trading 102—Getting Down to Business by Sunny J. Harris
  • Smarter Trading by Perry Kaufman
  • Trading Systems and Methods by Perry Kaufman


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