The Joy of Text

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I am very pleased to let you know about a couple of improvements in SlopeCharts.

First of all, there is a new element on the data line which shows the Y-axis value of wherever it is you are pointing on the screen. This can be useful if you are projecting a target on a chart (or for whatever reason). The x-axis is already there (since it’s a date), but now you can pinpoint the Y-axis with your mouse just by observing the value on the data line.

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The other improvement is an enhancing to the existing Rectangle tool. As a reminder, to emphasize a specific part of a chart, you can use the rectangle highlight tool. Select it from the toolbar at the top of SlopeCharts:

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Click anywhere you want to begin the highlight, drag the mouse, and click a second time to complete the rectangle. You can easily move it later, so don’t worry if it isn’t perfect the first time.

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The moment you do the second click, a dialog box comes up which lets you enter any text (up to 900 characters) that you’d like to appear when mousing over the highlighted section of the chart. You don’t have to enter any text at all; if you just want the highlight by itself, click the “X” in the upper right of the dialog box to dismiss it. If you do want text, enter it and click the Save button when you are done.

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Now this text is preserved as a part of this highlight (and you can have as many highlights on a chart as you want). When you place your mouse pointer over the highlight, the text will appear.

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If you decide to edit the text later (or eliminate it completely), just right-click on the highlight and choose Text Note from the menu which appears. You can use this same menu to alter the color of the highlight.

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What you enter in a text note is utterly up to you; it could be as varied as:

  • Personal notations (“Bought 500 shares @ $13.25”)
  • Company news (“Disappointing earnings caused 7% drop”)
  • Technical remarks (“Breakout from cup-with-handle pattern”)
  • Or longer text blocks with information that help you understand, historically, why a given financial instrument moved in some particular way.

I will mention that we’re going to make these text notes searchable (in a very cool way) in the near future, and I have a HUGE list of new features slated for the months ahead.

SlopeCharts is here to stay, and it’s going to be getting constantly better.

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