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ThinkOrSwim Tutorial – Scanning with Options Hacker

thinkorswim tutorial options hacker how to add filters

Scanning with Options Hacker: A ThinkOrSwim Tutorial

I noticed that there is not very much information out there on the Options Hacker scanner for TOS. Because of that, I wanted to do a quick ThinkOrSwim tutorial on Options Hacker and at least note some of the differences between it and Stock Hacker to clear up some of the confusion. This article will explain the basic features of Options Hacker, and the steps to setting up a custom option scan in Think-Or-Swim. It also notes the differences between the Stock Hacker and Options Hacker scanners.

Options Hacker Differences

So why can’t you just use Stock Hacker? Well, you can, and sometimes it may be easier. But Options Hacker is good for keeping the two types of scans separate and keeping your settings the same when switching back and forth between trading and analyzing the two.

In Options Hacker, you will still be filtering down a list of stocks first of all, just like in Stock Hacker. You can use all your normal filters: price, volume, average volume, price performance, etc. You can even add custom study filters here for the underlying stocks. It’s important to note that the study filters only work for the stocks. You can’t currently program any custom studies to use for option filters. You can use the new Fundamental Filters they just recently made available in TOS. These can be very helpful for you value investors and longer-term traders out there.

After you get the stocks narrowed down to only the ones you would be interested in, now it’s time to filter down the stock options. Here you can add any option attribute available: open interest, delta, price, etc.  You can’t currently scan for option bid-ask spread, but with a custom column I made, you can at least sort the results to show the lowest spreads at the top.

Thinkorswim Options Hacker: add filters
Thinkorswim Options Hacker: How to add different types of stock & option filters to your scan.

Saving Your Option Scan

To Save your new options scan, click on the lower menu icon on the top right corner (see gif) and select “Save Scan Query”. Once you’ve given it a name, it will show up in your list of custom scans under the “Personal” section. To load any scan, including this one, simply click the same menu icon and select “Load Scan Query.” Then move your mouse over the Personal section of the menu, which is in alphabetical order, to whatever you named your scan. When you click on the name it will automatically load onto the scanner window below.

Thinkorswim tutorial on Options Hacker - how to save and load a scan
Thinkorswim Tutorial – how to save and load a scan in Options Hacker

Hopefully that helps. One of the most confusing things about Options Hacker is that the Study filters don’t work on options, they only work on stocks. You might think since it’s called Options Hacker, when you scan for the closing price or the ATR, it would be calculating those with the options prices. But that’s just not the case currently. You can only use the built in options filters to filter the options, you have to use the other types of filters for the underlying stocks.

For those of you who are more visual learners, I also made a short video where I show you how to set up a customized option scan in think or swim. In it, I show you step by step how to add stock filters, option filters, and custom study filters for the underlying stock. I show you how to narrow and sort the results, and finally, how to save the scan to use later. You can find the full video at the bottom of this post.



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How to Install Indicators, Scans, and Columns in ThinkOrSwim

How to install indicators and downloads in the thinkorswim platform.

How to Install Indicators, Scans & Watchlist Columns in ThinkOrSwim

This video will show you exactly how to install indicators, scans, and custom watchlist quote columns in thinkorswim. There are actually 3-4 different ways to install thinkScript code, and this ThinkOrSwim tutorial walks you through 3 of them. The fourth way is to just click a “shared item” link and it will install automatically. I figured that one was easy enough to not need an explanation :-).

You can also view the tutorial video on YouTube.

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Thinkorswim Downloads: Huge Database of FREE ThinkOrSwim Indicators

Thinkorswim Downloads: free thinkorswim indicators chart studies scans and strategies

ThinkOrSwim Downloads Master List of FREE ThinkScripts!

Check out this HUGE list of free ThinkOrSwim downloads! With most of the indicators and studies I program for my trading, I put a lot of time and energy into them in order to make sure they’re professional quality and offer a premium value — that they’re not just rehashing old chart studies that are already available, and have options that traders can use to customize them to their own trading. But there are also a lot of good free thinkScripts out there that do useful things too. And I do get asked about where to download free thinkorswim indicators from time to time, so in true Josiah fashion, I decided I wanted to deliver and go massively above and beyond in providing value, even for something that is completely FREE!

What This Is

This post contains a massive collection of free thinkorswim downloads that the authors have made available without charge on the web through the ThinkOrSwim sharing platform’s special sharing links feature. These thinkScript downloads are not my own, so I don’t warrant or offer any kind of support for them. And I’m not hosting them on my own site, I’m only linking to the downloads on TD Ameritrade’s servers where the authors posted them for free. But I wanted to provide a good one-stop resource for people looking for free thinkorswim resources, custom quote columns, scanners, chart studies, technical indicators, and strategies for the thinkorswim platform, and this list should definitely do that for you!

How to Install thinkScripts and ThinkOrSwim Downloads – First Things First

To install ThinkOrSwim downloads and indicators from these links, there are 2 options: either click the link and then the green button on the next page, OR simply copy the link, select “Setup” on the upper right of your ThinkOrSwim application, and select “Open shared item…” Then paste in the link and open it that way. Sometimes the first method doesn’t work depending on how you have your app installed, so sometimes the second method is the best way.

Download Custom Scans & Scanners for ThinkOrSwim

Download ThinkOrSwim Custom Indicators & Studies

Download Random ThinkOrSwim Studies and ThinkScript Indicators
Download Mobius’ ThinkScripts for ThinkOrSwim

Download Think Or Swim Quotes & Custom Columns for MarketWatch, StockHacker, and Sidebar Watchlists

ThinkOrSwim Downloads – Scripts for Stock, Options, Futures and Forex Trading Strategies

Download The Complete ThinkOrSwim SwimLessons ThinkScripts Archive

All of the past SwimLessons about ThinkScript have been archived for download, and here is the complete list courtesy of TOS Support. It’s an incredible wealth of thinkScripts that should keep you busy for awhile!

ThinkScript Watchlist Custom Quote Columns – Download Below
ThinkOrSwim Downloads of Chart Studies / Indicators / Alerts:
Download ThinkOrSwim Scans / Scanners & Stockhacker ThinkScripts

IMPORTANT: after you import any Scan, go to Scan tab and click on top right menu icon to select the saved query.  Then edit the filters and add any extra filters, and select watchlist of symbols with liquid options top left Scan In.  Now click on top right menu icon and Save Query to save your changes.

Hopefully you found some goodies buried in this huge list of resources.