How To Code Indicators In TradingView Using Pine Script – A Complete Guide

One of the most powerful features of TradingView is the ability to code your own custom indicators using Pine Script. But how do you get started building indicators from scratch?

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk through the process of coding indicators in Pine Script, from idea to backtesting. Whether you want to recreate your favorite legacy indicators or build cutting-edge tools, these steps will get you coding TradingView indicators like a pro.

We’ll cover planning your indicator, structuring the script, plotting values, troubleshooting, and much more. Follow along to unlock the potential of TradingView through Pine Script indicator development!

How To Code Indicators In Tradingview

Why Code Your Own Custom Indicators?

Here are some benefits of coding vs using existing indicators:

  • Build exactly the indicator you need tailored to your strategy
  • Modify components like math formulas or smoothing
  • Understand exactly how your indicators work under the hood
  • Add specialized behaviors like alerts, colors, plot shapes
  • Account for errors or unintended behaviors in closed-source indicators
  • Learn valuable Pine Script skills transferable across other scripts

DIY indicators let you evolve unique analytical tools over time.

Planning Your TradingView Indicator Concept

Thorough planning prevents problems down the line:

  • What trading decision will this indicator help you make?
  • Should it analyze trend, momentum, volatility, etc?
  • Is there an established indicator it replicates or improves?
  • What math formula or smoothing mechanism makes sense?
  • How many settings and configurable options to expose?
  • What alerts, if any, would make it actionable?
  • How do you want it visually represented on the chart?

With a solid blueprint, coding becomes straightforward.

Creating Your TradingView Pine Script Framework

Every indicator starts with the scaffolding:

indicator(title="MyIndicator", shorttitle="MI", timeframe="", precision=2, calc_on_every_tick=true)

This handles:

  • Version for language level compatibility
  • Indicator name and short name for charts
  • Timeframe and calculation precision needs
  • Whether to recalculate every tick or on close

Tweak to match your indicator requirements.

Adding Inputs for Customization

Enable modification through inputs:

length = input(14, "Length", input.integer, minval=1) 
signal = input(true, "Show Signal Arrows?")

This exposes common inputs:

  • Variable name like length
  • Display label like “Length”
  • Data type (integer, bool, etc)
  • Validation rules like minimum

Well-designed inputs empower users.

Assigning and Plotting Indicator Values

Make your script output something:

sma = ta.sma(close, length)
plot(series=sma,, title="SMA")

Key steps:

  • Assign calculation result to a variable like sma
  • Plot the value on the chart via plot()
  • Customize plot colors, style, title

This displays your indicator output on the TradingView chart!

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Troubleshooting Common Pine Coding Errors

Debugging is part of coding. Common errors:

  • Typos! Double check spelling of indicator formulas.
  • Undefined variables – declare all vars with var
  • Wrong data types – don’t treat strings as numbers
  • Plotting issues – use plot() so values display
  • Logic errors in calculations – test incrementally
  • Improper syntax like forgetting commas or brackets

Following a logical workflow avoids most amateur mistakes.

Backtesting Your TradingView Indicator

Analyze effectiveness with backtesting:

  • Add buy/sell signals based on indicator values
  • Use Pine Strategy functions to simulate trades
  • Tweak parameters and re-run to optimize
  • Check stats like Profit Factor, Drawdown, Net Profit

Build the analytical evidence that your edge works!

Enhancing Your TradingView Indicator

Take your script to the next level:

  • Add alerts when indicator conditions are met
  • Smooth plots by suppressing outliers
  • Improve visualization with colors and plot shapes
  • Implement additional logical filters before signaling
  • Provide user documentation explaining functionality
  • Share publicly to get feedback and help others

Little improvements compound over time!

Getting Inspiration for New Indicators

Stuck for ideas? Try:

  • Tweaking popular legacy indicators with personal twists
  • Turning chart patterns into quantifiable signals
  • Building metrics based on market internals or statistics
  • Applying concepts from other disciplines like statistics or economics
  • Quantifying subjective trading concepts like momentum, fear, or greed

The only limit is your imagination. Identify ideas no one has thought of yet!

Key Takeaways from This TradingView Guide

The foundation is set to start coding your own TradingView indicators:

  • Benefits of custom indicators tailored to your process
  • Best practices for planning effective indicators
  • Pine Script framework for implementing trading ideas
  • Adding inputs and plotting values on chart
  • Troubleshooting and backtesting to refine
  • Enhancing indicators with alerts, colors, smoother math
  • Finding creative new indicator inspirations

I hope this guide empowers you to start coding indicators that give you a true analytical edge. Let me know if you have any other Pine Script questions!

Author: Dominic Walsh

I am a highly regarded trader, author & coach with over 16 years of experience trading financial markets. Today I am recognized by many as a forex strategy developer. After starting blogging in 2014, I became one of the world's most widely followed forex trading coaches, with a monthly readership of more than 40,000 traders! Make sure to follow me on social media: Instagram | Facebook | Linkedin | Youtube| Twitter | Pinterest | Medium | Quora | Reddit | Telegram Channel

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