How to Import AFL Formula in Amibroker
Amibroker is one of the most powerful technical analysis and charting software programs. It’s quite well-known for its object-oriented tools (trend lines, Fibonacci retracements, drag-and-drop indicators etc.) and back-testing. While most features can be found on other TA software programs, it’s the back-testing and programming features that stand out from the crowd.
The Amibroker Formula Language (AFL) is a godsend for investors who want to create their own trading system rules and indicators. Those who have good knowledge of programming can take advantage of AFL to write a piece of code that can generate buy/sell signals.
Once the formula is created, users can test it on stocks to get accurate results. However, newbie traders and investors don’t know how to add the AFL formula to Amibroker. This guide aims to educate users on how to import the code, apply it to a blank chart and use it to analyze stocks:
1. Search for AFL formulas or “codes” on Google. The Amibroker (AB) website features some of the best indicators and formulas for both traders and investors. Another great site is Wisestocktrader.com. This site has some of the best codes written by coders from all around the world. (I would recommend this and Marketcalls.in website for Indian investors to get top codes for free.)
2. I will be using AB’s formula library and software ver. 5.20 as examples to explain how to import AFL formula to Amibroker. Visit the library and click on a link to get the code. After clicking on the link, you will be taken to the formula page where the code can be seen along with a brief note highlighting the uses and purpose of the formula.
3. You will see the entire code under “Formula”. To select it, press the left mouse button and drag the cursor until you reach the end of the code.
While selecting, not a single character within the block of code should be missed, else the formula editor will show an error sign (you will need to paste it on the editor before you can start applying it on stocks). Keep selecting until you reach the last curly bracket. Once you have selected the entire code, press Ctrl + C or right-click and select “Copy”.
4. Next, open your Amibroker software, click on Analysis > Formula Editor. Press Ctrl + V. The copied formula will be pasted on to the empty space. To check for any errors, click on the “Verify Syntax” button (it has a tick icon).
5. To save the formula, enter the formula name (or any name) on the white box just beside the tick icon. Click on File > Save. The formula will be saved on the “Custom” folder under “Formulas” (Most user-created codes are saved in the custom folder).
Applying the Imported Code to a Blank Chart
To apply the formula to a new chart, follow these steps. You can repeat these steps for every new formula, but remember that you will have to open a new blank chart every time you want to add a new indicator:
1. Click on File > New > Blank Chart. To view saved formulas and other indicators, click on View > Charts. You will see the charts tab at the sidebar to your left.
2. Click on the Charts tab > Basic Charts (click on the plus sign to expand), drag and drop “Price” into the blank chart. A candlestick chart pattern will emerge on the blank chart. (Indian investors, make sure you have already imported EOD data of all symbols from data feeders like Bhavcopy first before doing this.)
3. On the same tab, search for “Custom”. Click on the plus sign (+) beside “Custom” to expand the folder and drag and drop the saved formula on to the blank chart. That’s it. You have applied the AFL formula to the price chart.
To add additional details such as TSL (Trailing Stop Loss), right-click on the chart and click “Parameters”. Under “Show TSL line”, select YES. Similarly, select Yes under Show Arrows to display buy and sell signal.
To test the newly imported formula on stocks, Click on “Analysis > Automatic Analysis”. Next, click on the “Pick” button to select and upload the formula. Select the .afl file on the Custom folder and click Open. You can then click explore to get a list of stocks with buy/sell signals.
Disclaimer: To explain the above steps the writer has used Amibroker ver. 5.20. Please consult an expert for any technical analysis queries. Reader discretion is advised.