Classic Patterns

On this page you will find information on how to search for classic patterns in TOS Charts. General information and terms are explained in the Introduction. To learn how to use classic patterns as scan filters in Stock Hacker, see Stock Hacker.

1. Click the Patterns button above the chart and choose Select patterns... The Select Patterns dialog window will appear.

2. On the Classic tab, select the patterns you would like to search for. To add more than one pattern at a time, hold down the Ctrl button while selecting your search patterns. Click Add selected

You can also click Add all so that the system will search for every known pattern.

All chosen patterns will be displayed on the list to the right.

3. To remove a pattern from the list, click the x to the right of the pattern name, or right-click and select Remove. To remove all patterns from the list, click the Remove all button below. 

4. To customize the parameters of a pattern, click the Settings button next to it. The Settings dialog will appear.

5. On the Parameters tab of the Settings window you can customize the following:

  • Pattern length. Specify the lower and the upper limits (in bars) of the time periods on which the pattern needs to be identified.

  • Direction. Specify the direction of the anticipated trend after pattern completion: bullish, bearish, or neutral (sideways).

  • Trend. Specify whether the pattern should continue or reverse the preceding trend.

  • Breakout. Specify whether you are looking for a breakout that is already completed or emerging.


6. On the Sensitivity tab you can move sliders to specify sensitivity parameters. Each parameter is measured on the scale of 0 to 5.

  • Initial trend. Defines the strength of the preceding trend.

  • Breakout strength. Defines the minimum relative amount of price rise or decline at the breakout point.

  • Volume increase. Defines the minimum relative volume rise at the breakout point.

  • Uniformity. Defines how evenly tops and bottoms need to be spaced within the pattern.

  • Clarity. Defines the acceptable level of "noise" in price action (0 for very noisy, 5 for very clear). Noisy price action appears as having too many spikes (though the reversal points are still recognizable).

You can adjust all the five settings simultaneously by deselecting the Fine-tune checkbox and moving the Overall signal strength slider.

7. On the Display tab, you can:

  • Show predicted range. Specify whether the expected range should be shown always, never, or on mouse hover only.

  • Specify colors for pattern trendlines and bullish and bearish predicted range areas.

8. All specified parameters can be set as default. Click the Set as default button so that all the patterns added further to the list will have the same parameters as the current one. Clicking the Reset button will set all parameters to previously saved defaults.

9. Use the split button below to save the changes. Click Apply to save the parameters for the currently selected pattern only. Click Apply to all to save the parameters for all patterns on your list. You will be redirected to the Select patterns dialog.

10. Click OK. The system will start searching for all chosen patterns right away.

11. When the breakout is complete, the system calculates the expected range for the price to hit afterwards. This range is calculated using a proprietary algorithm developed for each pattern individually. The expected range is not calculated for patterns with emerging breakouts.


The strategies presented in this guide are for educational purposes only and are not a recommendation of a specific investment or investment strategy. Past performance of a security or strategy does not guarantee future results or success.

Supporting documentation for any claims, comparison, statistics, or other technical data will be supplied upon request. TD Ameritrade does not make recommendations or determine the suitability of any security, strategy or course of action for you through your use of our trading tools. Any investment decision you make in your self-directed account is solely your responsibility.

Market volatility, volume and system availability may delay account access and trade executions.

While this manual discusses technical analysis, other approaches, including fundamental analysis, may assert very different views.

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