Here is an alternative way to display $Tick as a histogram which was inspired by Jticks excellent charts. The chart symbol used is $Tick-NYSE (IB feed).
The $Tick indicator is simply the net difference between the number of stocks that ticked up on the NYSE and those that ticked down on the last tick (IB symbol $Tick-NYSE). Other feeds have different symbols and Tick is also provided for the Nasdaq.
Most commonly $Tick is used for highlighting:
Revolutionary stuff : - )
Others use tick hooks as entry triggers.
$Tick is often used together with the $Trin ($Trin-NYSE on IB; http://www.daytradingit.com/trin.html)
and with the $Tiki (IB doesn’t provide Tiki at this time; http://www.lbrgroup.com/index.asp?page=FAQ) .
There are numerous good sources on the web on how to use the $Tick in trading, as examples:
This template plots the $Tick as a histogram and has a number of audible and visual alerts associated with the crossing of key levels on the $Tick. To enable or disable the audio alerts simply select the appropriate alert and click the “silent” radio button. To enable/disable the visual alert simply check/uncheck the “show” checkbox in the alert.
I normally choose to mark the $Tick high/low with little crosses but again this can easily be changed to blank or to another marker style in the alert properties. Similarly if you don’t want the 600/800/1000/1200 levels then simply delete that particular dyo or uncheck the show boxes.
The $Tick chart plotted with this template should look like the following pictures.
Note: To print the “edge” of the histogram; set the chart type to “line”, set the “color bars” property to close v open and select the “up” and “down” colors that you want.
You should also notice that while the visual alerts are set to trigger on $Tick high/low, the $Tick histogram is printed as close values. So, using the visual marker will leave a record of the high or low that $Tick reached in that bar, while the histogram gives a record of the closes.
The markers are placed at the high/low that $Tick has reached in the signal bar, with a different color used depending upon if $Tick crosses +/- 600, 800, 1000 or 1200.
For further info on using $Tick in Ensign have a look at the Q&A database, as examples:
Normally I will put an overlay of the instrument I am interested in, on the $Tick chart as follows. Right click on the chart, select “Studies/Overlay” and enter your full symbol code in the symbol box (eg YM Z5).
Choose the chart period that matches your trading style. I have seen 1m, 2m,3m,5m, 200R all used by different traders.
I hope this helps in some small way.