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July 22, 2024

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Insider TA's File Scanner

Insider TA™ Pro has a File Scan Utility that allows you to search your portfolio for indicators embraced by Insider TA's analysis methods (NOTE: the Demo and Standard versions have the same File Scan Utility, but scanning is limited to demo files only).

Defining the various search parameters is exercised using a system of buttons and switches, as shown below:

INSIDER TA's File Scan Utility

Q: Please suggest a good approach on scanning and how to effectively set the various switches in the Filter Panel.

A: A good first step in using ITA's Scan Utility would be to optimize the Box Analyzer (BA) function for all stocks in your portfolio. This is something you would normally do the first time you view a stock. But the File Scan Utility can perform this automatically for you. To do this, simply run a scan with no filters set, and ensure the following two buttons are checked ON, as shown in Figure 1 below:

  • The button labeled "Optimize BA after Loading".
  • The button labeled "Save settings to View Database if Scan Passes"
Since BA Optimizing determines unique switch settings for each stock, it is recommended that you save those unique settings. That is the purpose of the View Database. The View Database automatically updates information about a stock any time you load a stock for viewing. The scanning process, on the other hand, must be told to do this. For this reason, observe how the button labeled "Save settings to View Database if Scan Passes" is enabled.

It is important to note that the View Database is updated only if the scan passes for the given stock file. Since no filters are set in Figure 2 below, we are guaranteed that every stock will pass the scan. This ensures that the File Scanner will optimize your entire portfolio and save their optimized settings to the View Database.

We also recommend you set the purple "Rank Window" switch checked to ON. So here's how you should configure the "Preprocessing" and "Filter" sections:

After you have duplicated the above settings, click the "Scan" button. Then select "Express Scan Mode". Now take a break! Enabling the "Optimize BA After Loading" function increases the total scan time considerably. So, if your portfolio numbers in the hundreds or thousands, this initial scan might take a while to complete.

When your scan is done, you will now have a complete set of optimized data. And thanks to the View Database, Insider TA is able to remember all optimized BA switch settings for each and every stock. For all future scans, you will then want to turn off the following switches in the Preprocessing Panel (Figure 1 above):

  • "Optimize BA after Loading"....turn OFF.
  • "Save settings to View Database if scan Passes"....turn OFF.
You should now conduct all scans with the following switch checked to ON...
  • The checkbox labeled "Use Settings from View Database" (Figure 1 above).

Sample Scan #1

Let's say you want to scan for stocks whose price within the last 5 days is greater than $2 per share. You also want to single out those stocks whose BA-optimized results provide yields greater than 40%. In order to avoid those stocks whose high BA yields are attributed to only one BA Buy:Sell pair (phrased as a "Transaction"), you might want to specify that the number of Buy:Sell pairs (Transactions) be greater than 3. Now that we have a set of instructions for obtaining stocks with good BA performance, let's say we want to see those that have been tagged recently (within the last 5 days) with a BA Buy Tag. Hence we will need to turn on the "BA Buy Tag" checkbox.

In the preceding paragraph, four filter settings were discussed:

  1. Price > $2
  2. BA Yield > 40%
  3. # Transactions (i.e. Buy:Sell pairs) > 3
  4. BA Buy tag within last 5 days.
In order that all these filters be met before a stock file passes the scan, we must ensure that the "Any/All" options in the Filtering Scope slider switch is set to "All". The following figures 3 and 4 illustrates how the Preprocessing and Filter Panels should look after all of the above criteria are entered.

Sample Scan #2

Now for something completely different...

Let's try a scan that searches for good BA buy or BA sell or VA RANK buy or VA RANK sell points. For this to work for the BA part, all we need to do is click the "BA Buy Tag" and "BA Sell Tag" switch to ON. You'll observe that there are no "VA RANK Buy Tag" or "VA RANK Sell Tag" switches. As discussed in your Users Manual, VA RANK buy tags are generated whenever the VA RANK function exceeds a certain "buy threshold" value, and VA RANK sell tags appear wherever the VA RANK function drops below a "sell threshold" value. In other words, you're interested in VA RANK values that fall outside of a certain range of values. Let's say you want to see stocks whose recent VA RANK has risen above 65.0 or fallen below 45.0. This criteria is achieved by entering a VA RANK Range of 45.0..65.0 (Exclusive).

Now all that's left to be done is set the "Any/All" toggle switch to "ANY". The resulting Filter Panel should now look like the following...

That's all there is to using the Filter Panel. Of course, not all variations were discussed here. There are numerous approaches and strategies, and each one can be saved to a separate database for easy retrieval later.

Q: When running a scan for BA buy or sell tags, I find several stocks whose buy and sell tags appear darker than the rest. Why is this?

A: Based on Richard Arms' Ease of Movement (EMV) methodology, a Box Analyzer (BA) tag -- either buy or sell -- is signaled whenever the string of BA data points progress in the same direction for "x" consecutive times. Let's call this a chain of BA Moves, and it is what generates BA buy and sell tags.

It is not uncommon for two or more consecutive buy or sell tags to be generated. In these cases, Insider TA draws the first tag in a bright green color, and all subsequent tags with a darker green. Only after a tag in the opposite direction is encountered will a bright green color be used again. This scheme helps reduce the clutter of repetitious BA tags that may occur...Insider TA only emphasizes the first one.

An example will help illustrate this point. Observe the UP (shown green below) and DOWN (shown red) progression of BA data points, and let's say the threshold for signaling a BA buy or sell is 4 consecutive moves...

You can disable this tag dimming feature by going to the Config Options Panel, and clicking the "Miscellaneous" section, and then clicking the "Data Presentation" button. There, you will see a checkbox labeled "Dim repeat buy/sell tags". Uncheck it to disable the dimming feature discussed in the preceding paragraphs.

Q: How can I obtain a printout of data output from the File Scan Utility?

A: Click the "Scan Results" tab, and observe the option "Output" in the menu bar at the top. This provides access to saving column data to either a printer, CSV file, or an Excel spreadsheet. You also have control as to which columns of data you want output..

Q: In the File Scan Panel, what is the purpose of the toggler labeled "ANY" or "ALL"?

A: In the Filter Panel, there are a variety of filtering switches at your disposal. Let's say you want to search your portfolio for stocks whose current price is anywhere between $10 and $50. In this case, all you need to do click the PRICE filter button. This pops-up the Range/Threshold window, where you can select the "Range" tab and then enter a lower limit of $10 and an upper limit of $50, then enable the button labeled "INCLUSIVE".

Scanning for stocks within a desired price range might not provide enough focus. You might also be interested only in stocks whose Up Volume To Down Volume -- or "UV/DV" -- is greater than 1.0. So you would need to click the "UVDV" filter button and select in the floating Range/Threshold window a THRESHOLD value of 1.0, then enable the button labeled "GREATER THAN".

So far, the following filters have been set:

  1. A price range between $10 and $50.
  2. A UV/DV ratio greater than 1.0.
We need to tell the File Scanner that both of these criteria must be satisfied in order to "pass" a stock file. In other words, we want all of the specified criteria to be satisfied. This is the purpose of the ANY/ALL toggle switch, and in this case we need to flip it to the "ALL" setting.

If, on the other hand, we wanted one OR the other search criteria to pass (and not necessarily both), we would flip the ANY/ALL switch to the "ANY" setting.


The best way to use the file scanner is to avoid setting too many filters. Consider what would happen if every filter was configured...

  • If the ANY/ALL switch was set to "ANY", then there's a good chance just about all files in your portfolio would pass. With many filtering criteria enabled, there is a higher probability that one of them will pass any given stock file.
  • If the ANY/ALL switch was set to "ALL", then it's most likely that no files would pass, simply because your conditions are too strict for any file to possess all of the characteristics you're looking for.

Q: What is the meaning of the column titled "BA Moves" in the Scan Results tab page?

A: Actually, this is one of the less important values that we decided to include in the Scan Results tables, but here's an explanation...

Data in this column reveals the number of consecutive BA moves found within the file scan's view span. If you recall from your Userís Manual on BA theory, counting the number of consecutive BA advances or declines is instrumental in locating potential BA buy and sell points. Although the Filter Panel has a BA BUY and BA SELL search button, its pass-or-fail summary is somewhat limited because it does not provide the whole picture on how BA was performing for all your stocks. The "BA Moves" column fills this void by providing a simple count (up or down) on how the BA data points are progressing at the trailing end of each stock database, illustrated by the following figure...

How the BA Moves Column reports counts

The File Scanner reports the longest chain of BA consecutive moves that fits either entirely or partially within the selected view span. In the above figure, note how a value of +4 is returned. Although this chain does not fit entirely within the view span, it is still accounted for.

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