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Thomas Bulkowski’s successful investment activities allowed him to retire at age 36. He is an internationally known author and trader with 30+ years of stock market experience and widely regarded as a leading expert on chart patterns. He may be reached at

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Chart Patterns: After the Buy
Getting Started in Chart Patterns, Second Edition book.
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Visual Guide to Chart Patterns book.
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Bulkowski's Patternz Tour

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Candles Chart
Small Patterns
Industrials (^DJI):
Transports (^DJT):
Utilities (^DJU):
Nasdaq (^IXIC):
S&P500 (^GSPC):
As of 03/24/2017
20,597 -59.86 -0.3%
8,929 -7.37 -0.1%
706 3.20 0.5%
5,829 11.05 0.2%
2,344 -1.98 -0.1%
Tom's Targets    Overview: 03/14/2017
21,250 or 20,600 by 04/15/2017
9,500 or 8,700 by 04/15/2017
675 or 715 by 04/01/2017
5,950 or 5,650 by 04/15/2017
2,425 or 2,325 by 04/15/2017
Mutt Losers: None YTD
Mutt Winners: None YTD

Written by and copyright © 2005-2017 by Thomas N. Bulkowski. All rights reserved. Disclaimer: You alone are responsible for your investment decisions. See Privacy/Disclaimer for more information.

This page shows important features and controls of the Patternz chart pattern and candlestick finding program as of version 4.1.


Patternz Main Form

The main form for patternz

Above is the Main Form that appears when you run the program. It has the following controls or features.

  1. Near the top of the form is the menu bar, composed of Exit, File Format, Patterns, and Help. Use the File Format menu item to configure Patternz for special data files.

    The Patterns menu item activates the Patterns Form where you can select over 170 chart and candlestick patterns.

    Below the menu bar is the black Help Window. Context sensitive help appears here as the focus changes from control to control.

  2. Select a disk drive from this control which holds the securities you wish to examine.
  3. Select the directory (folder) which contains the securities shown in item 4. Note that the path names are truncated to 8 characters, a limitation of the old Windows (3.11) operating system. Thus, the path "Documents and Settings" will appear as "docume~1". This may take some work to locate your securities but once you find them, the program remembers the path.
  4. This is the securities list box containing the securities. There is no need to add symbols to the program. Just place your data file in the folder and it will appear in the list providing it has a .csv or .txt file extension.
  5. Use the Security Watch List to Add highlighted securities to a watch list, Get securities from an existing watch list, Change the contents of a watch list, or Delete a watch list. The path to the securities is remembered, so you can have multiple directories (folders) to hold the securities.
  6. The List button will be the most used feature of the program. The List form searches securities for patterns and lists them, allowing you to cull the list by up to nine search criteria and two filters. The green border surrounding the List button means that the Enter key also activates the control. A red border means the Escape (Esc) key activates it. The Chart button displays a chart of the security. The All button highlights every security in the securities list box (4). The Watch lists check box hide or displays the two watch lists.
  7. Use the Pattern Watch List to Get your favorite chart or candlestick patterns. For example, you could create a group of chart patterns that appear on the weekly scale, another group on the daily scale. By selecting the appropriate one from the Pattern Watch List, you can then scan for or view those chart patterns.


Patternz List Form

The main form for patternz

This is the List Form where you can search for patterns and sort the results according to performance and other filters. Here are the important features and controls, starting in the upper left.

  1. The Help Window. When you tab from control to control, the black help window provides useful information.
  2. The Sort button sorts the list box (5) by its To date, with the most recent chart pattern appearing at the top of the list.
  3. All, Next Selected, and Undo Selected. The All button highlights every item in the list box. The Next Selected button brings to the top of the list the next highlighted item. Undo Selected restores the highlighted list box items to their previously highlighted state. This comes in handy when using the radio buttons (4) and selection buttons immediately below.
  4. Radio (option) buttons. Each column of radio buttons associates with the push button immediately below. You can search the list box for the choices shown by the radio buttons. For example, say you want to find all chart patterns that statistically show improving performance (+) for width on the weekly scale. Click the Weekly check box (8) and then Find (13) to find chart patterns on the weekly scale. Click the + radio button above Width. Click the Width push button to highlight chart patterns with a + showing in the width column. Then click the Wk (week) radio button and click Scale. The program searches the list of highlighted items for those chart patterns on the weekly scale. The remainder of the radio and push buttons operate the same way, selecting the phrase shown by the radio button from the highlighted items in the list box (5).
  5. Here's what the push buttons look for.

    Width: pattern width and whether it helps (+), hurts (-), or has no effect (=) on post breakout performance according to statistical studies.
    Height: pattern height and whether it helps (+) or hurts (-) post breakout performance according to statistical studies.
    Scale: patterns on the daily or weekly scale.
    Vol Trend: the volume trend from the start to end of the chart pattern and whether it helps (+) or hurts (-) post breakout performance according to statistical studies, or trends up (Up) or down (Down).
    Bkout: the breakout direction, either up or down (Dn).
    Bk Volume: the breakout day volume and whether it helps (+), hurts (-), or has no effect (=) on post breakout performance according to statistical studies, or whether the breakout day volume is higher (Hi) or lower (Lo) than average.
    Bk Gap: whether a breakout day gap exists (Y/N) or whether it helps (+), hurts (-), or has no effect (=) on post breakout performance according to statistical studies.
    Volatile: rising or falling volatility leading to, but not including, the breakout day.
    Sum: A total of the plusses (+) minus the minuses (-).
  6. This is the list box where the results of a Find (13) appear.
  7. Security Watch List. You can Add securities highlighted in the list box to a new list, Get securities in an existing watch list and highlight them in the list box, or Delete an existing watch list.
  8. Set the Begin and End dates to scan for chart patterns. Since patterns are typically narrower than 4 months, the separation defaults to 4 months from the current date unless you change it.
  9. Search for chart patterns on the Daily or Weekly scale, or both. At least one must be selected.
  10. Excel, Clipboard, and Symbols. The Excel and Clipboard buttons send the highlighted rows in the list box to Excel or the clipboard for pasting into another program. The Symbols button defines the symbols (+, -, =, and so on) that appear in the list box.
  11. Patterns. Click to show the Patterns Form that lists the various chart patterns that you can scan for.
  12. Use the Stop button to terminate a Find (13).
  13. Chart. Once you Find chart patterns, you can graph them by clicking the Chart button.
  14. Find. Click this button to begin the search for chart patterns.
  15. Filter. After a Find, select whether price and/or volume is greater than or less than (or does not apply) the price or volume entered in the associated text boxes and then click Filter. The highlighted securities in the list box will obey the selection criteria specified in the associated test boxes.


Patternz Chart Form

The main form for patternz

This is the Chart Form where discovered chart patterns are displayed. Here are features hidden from view.

  • You can draw a trendline by RIGHT mouse clicking (not on a price or volume bar, however, just click in the white area near, but not on, a price bar) and dragging the mouse.
  • Right mouse clicking on a price bar and holding shows the price bar information and it also appears in the black Help window at the top of the form (where additional information will appear, such as volume and a chart pattern or candlestick name).
  • Left mouse clicking (in the white area) and holding (or dragging) shows crosshairs.
  • Left mouse double clicking on a price bar shows balloon help with pricing information. Left mouse click again to pop the balloon.
  • Use the left mouse button to grab any axis (the horizontal lines along the sides. The mouse cursor changes to arrows when you hover over it) and move it. This will redraw the screen when you release the button and will erase any trendlines you've drawn but sometimes it's useful.
  • Notice the green border around the arrow key (13). Pressing ENTER advances to the next security or chart pattern (as does the plus key on the keypad).
  • Pressing ESCape returns you to the prior form (notice the red border around the Done button? That's what it means).
  • When Find Candle is checked, hovering the mouse over the volume or price bars displays candle tips in list box 5.

The Chart Form has the following controls or features, starting at the upper left.

  1. The toolbar appears when the Toolbar check box is checked. Not shown, but using the Palletbar and Patternbar selections and by dragging and dropping a color, you can change the screen to make it look really bizarre. You can drag and drop a pattern on the volume bars, but the setting is not remembered. Go crazy! The program will remember the color settings only.

    From left to right, the toolbar has the following features.

    • Copy the chart to the clipboard as a bitmap
    • Copy data to the clipboard as text
    • Print the chart
    • Zoom (drag over the zoom area and then click the toolbar button to erase)
    • Vertical grid lines: These don't align to anything
    • Horizontal grid lines: These don't align to anything either
    • Edit chart titles
    • Change fonts
    • Tools which shows the Palletbar, Patternbar and data editor.
    • Chart options. Here you can switch between arithmetic (linear) or logarithmic scale, set the minimum or maximum price range, and so on. Clicking the Graph button will erase most changes.
  2. Top

  3. This (FRNT in this example) is the name of the security being charted.
  4. The red text near the top of the chart is a brief description of the patterns uncovered. For example, a triple bottom appears on the chart. See the Setup button to hide/show the phrases.
  5. Here are the chart patterns in red, a triple bottom. Some chart patterns show text (TB, DT, W and so on) and some appear as red lines (symmetrical triangle, descending broadening wedge, and so on). The Symbols button explains what the letters or symbols mean.
  6. When Find Candle is selected, candle information is displayed in the list box as you move the mouse over a volume or price bar. When Find Candle is not checked, the number of chart patterns found appears. Some patterns will overlap on the screen and so will their text, but the number is accurate. When coming from the Find form and Find Candle is not checked, additional pattern information displays here. When Find Candle is checked, moving the focus (via tabbing or clicking) to the list box enlarges it. When you tab away (shift focus), then the box returns to its normal width.
  7. This is information about the most recent price and volume bar.
  8. This is the Begin and End dates, when the chart starts and ends, even if there is not enough data to display. Once set, each chart will display the same dates, providing the data exists. The dates DO NOT change if a security is older than the current date.
  9. Daily and Weekly scales so you can check either scale by clicking on the appropriate radio button.
  10. The forecasted closing price appears here.
  11. Show either hides or shows chart patterns. Toolbar hides or displays the toolbar. Candles displays a candlestick chart. Find Candle displays candle information near location 5 when the mouse hovers over a price or volume bar.
  12. Vol Tick (volume ticks -- not shown in this example), are small marks that appear above the volume scale to show where the chart pattern begins and ends. Thus, you can better view the volume trend and shape within the chart or candlestick pattern. Volume hides or shows the volume scale (if volume is available). Tall BarsWhen checked, tall bars appear above colons (:). Tall bars often signal turning points within one day. See the study Candles at peaks and valleys for more information.
  13. This group of buttons do the following.
    1. Patterns. This runs the Patterns Form where you can select over 170 chart patterns and candlesticks.
    2. Retrace. Right click on the start and end of a price trend and three lines corresponding to a Fibonacci retrace of 38%, 50% and 62% will appear. You can change these retrace values by using the Setup form. For more information on Fibonacci retracements, click here.
    3. Symbols displays a form to explain the symbols (DT, W, and so on) that appear on the chart.
    4. Stops. The program calculates the high-low difference of each day over the preceding month, averages the values and multiplies by two. The result is used to determine a volatility stop. Use a volatility stop to avoid being stopped out by normal price movement. If you haven't RIGHT clicked on a price bar, the most recent bar is used. Otherwise, the price bar on which you've clicked is used to calculate a volatility stop. Be sure to look at the date on the popup message box to verify the date. The underlying chart will show both volatility and minor high/low stop locations, but the lines are approximate. For more information on stop placement, click here.
    5. Forecast shows how likely the next day will be either up or down and it also shows pivot point calculations based on the current time scale. If chart or candle patterns occur, a count of the bullish or bearish patterns will appear.
    6. Setup. For advanced users. You can change some of the parameters that Patternz uses to find patterns. Parameter changes also apply to the List Form. Available settings are for pattern width, search parameters tweaks, SAR settings, Fibonacci retrace values, phi extensions, and a check box to hide the pattern descriptions (3) at the top of the Chart form.
    7. SAR. Shows support or resistance lines where price is likely to pause or reverse. This is simply a count of the peaks and valleys near the same price. The Setup button allows you to adjust SAR settings.
    8. Tell. Right click on a price bar where a chart pattern or candlestick appears and then click Tell. A form appears that explains the underlying chart pattern or candlestick, including performance statistics, and an idealized chart of what the pattern should look like.
    9. Graph. This redraws the screen in case you want to clear any trendlines or if you change the begin and end dates.
    10. Phi. This shows phi extensions. Right click on any two major turning points then click Phi to show the extensions from these turning points. Often, the lines will serve as support and resistance areas. The Setup form allows you to instruct Patternz to automatically show phi extensions.
  14. Click on an arrow button to move between securities (if coming from the Main Form) or chart patterns (if coming from the List Form). Pressing the number pad's plus (+) or Enter keys is like clicking the right arrow button. Pressing the number pad's minus (-) key is similar to clicking the left arrow button. Thus, you can move forward or backward by pressing Enter or minus, or clicking on the arrow buttons if you prefer. ONLY ONE CHART PATTERN IS DISPLAYED WHEN COMING FROM THE LIST FORM. When coming from the Main Form, the next or prior security is displayed.


Patternz Forecast Form

The main form for patternz

The Forecast Form is accessed through the Forecast button on the Chart Form. The purpose of the form is to test or tune the price forecast for your security. Right mouse button clicking or left mouse double clicking enlarges or shrinks the chart. Here's a brief tour of the important parts of the form.

  1. Pivot point calculations appear on the middle left of the form for daily or weekly price data.
  2. I take a poll of candlesticks and small chart patterns and then tell which bullish or bearish total appears most often. This area may be blank if no patterns appear.
  3. This is where tomorrow's price forecast appears. This information also appears on the Chart Form, in the lower middle, in tiny print.
  4. This list box shows the results of a tune up. Columns are the moving average, linear regression look back, mean squared error (MSE: accuracy) and standard deviation (Std Dev: consistency). Low values for MSE and Std Dev are best.
  5. The blue text boxes show the currently used moving average and linear regression look back values. When you run a tune up, new values are placed here. If you want to test or use a specific value, enter it here and click Test. The chart will update and so will tomorrow's prediction (3). Accuracy (mean squared error - MSE and consistency (standard deviation, Std Dev) appear below the blue text boxes so you can gauge how effective your change was.
  6. This area is used when you run a tune up. Enter the range of values to test for linear regression look back and the moving average. A step value of 1 means test 3, 4, 5, and so on. A step value of 5 means to skip 5, so the moving average test would use 5, 10, 15 and so on, for days in the moving average test.
  7. The Test button uses the values provided by the blue text boxes and shows the results on the chart and updates the forecasted price (3). Clicking the Tune Up button uses the information provided in 6 to find the best values for the linear regression look back and moving averages. All results are shown in the list box (4), the chart is updated once the best values are found, and the blue text boxes are also updated (5).


Patternz Patterns Form

The main form for patternz

This is the Patterns Form where you can select over 170 chart patterns and candlesticks for the program to search. Here's what the controls do.

  1. Check the boxes to select the associated patterns. When you exit the form, your changes are remembered. For candlestick patterns, click the Candles or Patterns button.
  2. Setup the Pattern Watch List here. Select your favorite chart patterns or candlesticks and then save them so you can search for them later at the click of a button.
  3. This group of buttons allows you to select chart patterns or candlesticks based on the best performing, fewest failures, reversal and continuation performance, ranked for bull/bear markets, up and down breakouts, according to statistical studies.
  4. These buttons control the state of the check boxes. The Candles or Patterns button swaps the check box form between chart patterns and candlesticks. The figure shows chart patterns but the candlestick form shows over 100 candlesticks.


Patternz File Format Form

The main form for patternz

This is the File Format form and it allows you to change Patternz to accept different file formats. Use this form ONLY when your data files have an unusual format. For example, the AMD file that comes with Patternz has lines similar to the following.

Date,Open,High,Low,Close,Volume,Adj Close

The first line is the header and it tells Patternz what the file's columns represent. If your data is missing this line, then Patternz has no idea what is in the columns. Use the File Format form to instruct Patternz how to interpret the file.

  1. The top of the form shows the first few lines of a file. Use this as a guide to setting the format. To look at a specific file, use the drive, folder and file list boxes to locate your security and then click on it. A few lines of the file will be displayed in the list box.
  2. This allows you to tell Patternz which columns below to which data. If Patternz DOES NOT WORK, chances are the data format is where the problem is. Click on a file you want to chart in the top half of the form. Then setup the column format to match what's displayed.
  3. For example, since the date comes first, a 1 should be in the text box opposite Date* just as shown here. Following the date is the open price. Since this security has an open price, check the Open check box and place a 2 in the text box because the open price is in the second column or field in the file.

    Continue in a similar manner until you describe the contents of the file. Skip columns that don't apply. Be sure to count the number of columns properly and enter that in the How many columns (total) does the file have? text box. When you're done, check Enable to use the format when opening files. The Date Format section also allows you to handle dates in an unusual format.

    Click Save (NOT Save Format) to save changes and read the warning message that appears. The message serves as a reminder that you could screw up the format so Patternz won't be able to read the files. Thus, if you try to chart a security and get an error message, return to this form and fix your mistake. Consult the Patternz manual for detailed instructions on each control. This form is NOT difficult to use but you DO have to be careful.

  4. The Security Watch List allows you to change the format for files (securities) if you need to do so. When you create a watch list, Patternz automatically remembers the format so you usually won't have to dork with it here. However, if you need to make changes then that's what it's here for. Click Get Format to retrieve the format being used by the watch list, use the File Format screen (2) to change the settings, and then click Save Format (NOT the Save button) to save changes.


Patternz Tell Form

The main form for patternz

This is the Tell form and it describes chart patterns and candlesticks. From the Chart form, right click on any chart pattern or candlestick and then click the Tell button. This form will appear.

When you click on a pattern description (1 or 2), then an idealized example of that chart pattern or candlestick will appear at 3. If the chart pattern or candlestick also has a chart symbol associated with it, the symbol will appear above the Done button.

-- Thomas Bulkowski


See Also

Written by and copyright © 2005-2017 by Thomas N. Bulkowski. All rights reserved. Disclaimer: You alone are responsible for your investment decisions. See Privacy/Disclaimer for more information. To err is human, but to blame it on somebody else shows management potential.