About Ensign

Owner of Ensign Software, Inc.

Median Filter Formula

Q:  My favorite robust statistic is always non-linear tools. To that end I do not like averages but like medians.

Median:  Sort the list of numbers from smallest to biggest. When the count is an odd number, the Median is the middle number.  When the count is an even number, the Median is the midpoint between the two middle numbers.  It would be nice if this were listed on the Ensign studies list.

A:  The Median Filter formula has been added to all study property forms where there is a drop down component to select from 11 average formula. The Median Filter entry is on the bottom of the list.  For example, you can put on the Moving Average study and select the Median Filter formula.

TWS Auto Logoff Timer

Q:  How do I change the time when TWS does its daily shut down?

A:  Use the TWS Configure button to edit the time for the shut down.

TWS Auto Logoff Time

Then in Ensign, on the connection form for the Interactive Brokers feed, enter a time for Ensign to rerun TWS that is 1 minute later than the auto logoff time.

Which Tool is Selected?

Q:  I like Ensign 10 and think it’s a big improvement over Ensign Windows although I thought that version was very good too.  I put up several Fibonacci Retracements on a chart.  When I go into the objects window, is there a good way of keeping track of which retracement is which?

A:  Clicking on an object on the list in E10 will show the construction boxes on the draw tool on the chart.  That indication on the tool helps you see if you have selected the intended tool.

Chart Maximum Bars

Q: My 2 Range chart fills within an hour or two (on a fast day in 15 minutes) and the bars re-size and the marking and indicators are gone due to resizing.

A: On the chart property form are 2 parameters for Save/Resize and Maximum Bars.

Chart Maximum Bars Property

Here is how these 2 values work together. When a chart is opened it loads with the Save/Resize quantity.  Then the chart grows until Maximum is reached, at which point the chart trims back to the Save/Resize quantity.  So to reduce the frequency of resizing (which also causes a recalculation) make the 2 numbers further apart.  In the example shown, this 5-min chart will collect 60 bars before resizing. This would be 3 hours of collection.  Your 2 Range charts is building bars much more quickly, so a separation of several thousand might be beneficial so you resize infrequently. Your discussion of 300 and 10,000 sounds like the right idea, but I have not seen your entries to verify if 300 is your Save/Resize value and 10000 is your Maximum Bars value.   And when it resizes to 300 the draw tools are removed that have anchors in the bars that are clipped from the file.   Only the last 300 bars are retained.

What you are seeing and calling resize might be something else, such as how often the chart is shifting leftward.  To reduce the constant repaint of moving the chart just 1 bar leftward, we do have a parameter used for tick based charts of moving the chart several bars leftward so there is more margin in which to build several bars before another shift left is performed.

Shift Chart Leftward

On the Setup | Charts form see the value pointed to by the arrow. This is the number of bars to shift leftward. So the jump left is every 10th bar, and the margin will have room to build 10 bars before the left shift again.  Perhaps it is this operation you are calling resize. Try 20 and see if that is helpful to what you see.

Ensign 10 Amazing Flexibility

Testimonial:  ‘I returned a few weeks ago from my annual get together with the small group of twelve traders from around the world that I have been associated with for years.  One of the things we discuss is changes to the way we trade, new programs that we are using and or problems we are looking for help with. I gave a thirty minute presentation on Ensign 10. I had a stack open on a 70″ screen and it looked great. I started with why I changed to the new version of Ensign, how it operated (from my point of view) and what I liked about it.

The group is made up of very talented professional traders. The main feed back point as to Ensign 10 was one of total amazement in the flexibility that the program has. The DYO’s were a separate topic as a spin off that we covered in group later that night.  They were simply amazed that the program allowed the user to not only create a complex working strategy and back test it, but the simplest fact that one can manipulate and change the values of the different indicators was a major deal. Then the ability to remove something with a simple “x” on the Chart Objects list started it’s own discussion as to how great that feature was. Ensign 10 was a big hit with the group.

I know I have been very fortunate to have your support and help along with your never tiring programming skills and knowledge. All of which I am very thankful for!’

D. Dempsey

High Volume Color Bars

Q: I think I’ve been with you for at least 8 years now. No charting software can do what Ensign does for me!  I managed to get DYO/studies working the way I wanted in EW.  I just downloaded E10 and want to migrate my studies/DYO from EW.  I can see that there are great improvements, but could use some help to get it right.  In EW I had study alerts combined with DYOs to accomplish this, and I suspect it can be done easily in E10. 


  • If Vol x 0.8 > AveVol(12) and Vol > 67 then colorbar yellow.
  • If Vol x 0.8 > AveVol(12) and Vol > 100 then colorbar green if Close>Open and red if Close<Open.

A:  The color bars based on high volumes can be implemented with 1 DYO configured as follows:

High Volume Color Bars DYO

A:  Calculate a 12 bar average of the volume, and assign to a variable named [AveVol].
B: Assign a variable named [Vol8] the value of Volume * 0.8.
C: Color the bars yellow based on the 1st rule.
D: Assign a variable named [HighVol] the Boolean result of the expression as shown.
E: Color the bars green when there is [HighVol] and Close >= Open.
F: Color the bars red when there is [HighVol] and Close < Open.

High Volume Color Bars Chart

What Have We Been Up To?

We have been very busy the past 2 years designing a new product.  Ensign Windows has been our windows based charting software since 1994, and before that we developed DOS based software since 1981.   Customers requested features that were not easily added to Ensign Windows.   Therefore, we decided to design a new product built upon the requested features, and leverage upon portions of Ensign Windows code when possible.   The new product is called Ensign 10, and is briefly described by these significant new features.  

  • Simultaneous Data can be received from ALL supported vendor feeds at the same time.  This means you can have FXCM, eSignal and Interactive Broker feeds together.
  • Playback supports replaying multiple symbols simultaneously with real market data.   Ensign Windows playback was limited to a single symbol.
  • Layers can instantly add 9 different views to your monitors.  This is superior to switching workspaces or using slider bars to have an extended screen space.  
  • Ribbon look replaces bulky menus and toolbars!
  • Free Floating Charts and Forms can be placed on any monitor.   This is one of the significant requests that resulted in undertaking the redesign.
  • Quote pages and Time & Sales are redesigned to be more colorful and attractive!
  • Package feature to quickly distribute Layouts and Templates through Ensign’s servers.  This is a really cool feature that we will have training classes on.
  • Stack container for on-the-fly Quotes and Charts with a single mouse-click!
  • PDF documentation to quickly find Help and Information you’re looking for!   The documentation for Ensign 10 is currently around 750 pages.  You are welcome to read it if you have any interest.
  • Spreadsheet for precision formulas with an extensive range of mathematical functions!  This is a whole new area with lots of flexibility and power.
  • DYO study redesign to be more powerful, and easier to understand and read!   We will have many training classes to help you utilize this amazing tool for creating your expert systems.
  • Trade Optimizer for advanced users to optimize their trading systems!  This is a totally new feature with lots of power to optimize your systems.
  • Chart Scanner for advanced users to generate reports of charts that match a search criteria!

Click the Introductory Video to watch a short segment about the NEW Ensign 10 software!
Click and Compare Ensign 10 with Ensign Windows to see the wonderfully improved functionality.

ESPL: Reset Scale Default

Q: Are you planning to add btnReset to ESPL in E10, or is there another way of automatically rescaling all the open charts in E10?

A: You would write a loop to give each open chart focus, and then use these 3 statements to accomplish a scale reset.   Task #198 resets the chart scale to its default.   Since the chart pop-up menus are not registered in ESPL, the trick is to set the tag for the mnuSaveLayout which is exposed in ESPL.   After doing the click event, reset the tag for this menu back to its original 900 value.   See the documentation in the DYO manual for the IF # then Action #2 statement for a full listing of action values that could be performed by this method.

mnuSaveLayout.tag := 198;
mnuSaveLayout.tag := 900;

Auto Trendlines on Accumulation Distribution

Q: In E10 the auto trends on the acc/dist study plot in the sub window away from the study line. The trendline is there but not in contact with the study line.

A:  Go to the property window for the Auto Trends study and change the Study Scale selection to the Sub-Windows entry.  Then the trend lines and the accumulation/distribution studies will be plotting on the same scale, and the Auto Trend lines will touch the study line.

Auto Trendlines on Accumulation Distribution Study