The Finance chart types all use a linear time scale. Most plot the Close prices of a symbol; bar charts and candlestick charts additionally plot the Open, High and Low prices.
Linear time scale means that the every data point that is plotted on the chart can be matched to a specific point in time, and that those points in time are shown on the horizontal time scale in regular intervals. Some other chart types, like Point and Figure, Three Line Break, Renko and Kagi charts use a nonlinear representation of time, which is to say that a data point can typically not be matched exactly to one point in time, and that some periods may pass without any data being plotted on the screen at all. This will never be the case in Finance charts: For every period where trading occurred, a data point will be added to the chart. For example, if you use a 10-minute bar chart, a new bar will be drawn every ten minutes. For details about different data compressions, see Changing the Data Compression.
Note†††††††††††† The above is not true when you use a tick-based compression (Tickbar) in your chart, as this kind of data compression canít use a linear time scale per definition.
In line charts, only the Close prices of the symbol are shown. Each Close price is plotted as a data point, and the points are then connected with a continuous, smoothed line.
This is the most basic chart type. It offers a simple, uncluttered view of the price development of a symbol.
In bar charts, the Open, High, Low and Close prices of a symbol are shown. Each data point consists of these four prices. The High and Low prices are at the upper and lower boundaries of a bar. The Open price is shown at the left side of the bar, and the Close price at the right side.
This chart type is widely used. It offers more information about the price development of a symbol than the line chart in a condensed view.
Candlestick charts, like bar charts, also show the Open, High, Low and Close prices of a symbol. A candlestick consists of a body, that is drawn between the Open and Close prices, an upper shadow (High) and a lower shadow (Low). The body is green if the Close price is higher than the Open price, and red if the Close price is lower than the Open price. If the Open and Close prices are equal, the candlestick has no body and is shown in a different color.
Candlestick charts were originally used in Japan since the 18th century. They have since become very popular. In essence, the show the same information as a bar chart, but in a different visual format. With candlestick charts, you can look for chart patterns like the Hammer or the Morning Star (for details about the available studies, consult the Study Reference).
Point charts plot the Close prices of a symbol as points. This chart type is similar to the line chart, in that each Close price is plotted as a data point. In contrast to line charts, the separate data points are not connected with a line.
This chart type offers the same information as a line chart. It does not add any data to form a line, though.
Histogram charts show the Close prices of a symbol as vertical columns.
This chart type offers the same information as a line or point chart in a different visualization.
Stair Step charts
In stair step charts, the Close prices of a symbol are plotted as steps. This chart type is similar to the line chart, except that the data points are connected with rectangular lines (steps) instead of a smoothed line.
This chart type offers the same information as a line, point or histogram chart in a different visualization.