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DRAW_COLOR_HISTOGRAM

The DRAW_COLOR_HISTOGRAM style draws a histogram as a sequence of colored columns from zero to a specified value. Values are taken from the indicator buffer. Each column can have its own color from a predefined set of colors.

The width, color and style of the histogram can be specified like for the DRAW_HISTOGRAM style - using compiler directives or dynamically using the PlotIndexSetInteger() function. Dynamic changes of the plotting properties allows changing the look of the histogram based on the current situation.

Since a column from the zero level is drawn on each bar, DRAW_COLOR_HISTOGRAM should better be used in a separate chart window. Most often this type of plotting is used to create indicators of the oscillator type, for example, Awesome Oscillator or Market Facilitation Index. For the empty non-displayable values the zero value should be specified.

The number of buffers required for plotting DRAW_COLOR_HISTOGRAM is 2.

  • one buffer for storing a non-zero value of the vertical segment on each bar, the second end of the segment is always on the zero line of the indicator;
  • one buffer to store the color index, which is used to draw the section (it makes sense to set only non-empty values).

Colors can be specified using the compiler directive #property indicator_color1 separated by a comma. The number of colors cannot exceed 64.

An example of the indicator that draws a sinusoid of a specified color based on the MathSin() function. The color, width and style of all histogram columns change randomly each N ticks. The bars parameter specifies the period of the sinusoid, that is after the specified number of bars the sinusoid will repeat the cycle.

An example of DRAW_COLOR_HISTOGRAM

Please note that for plot1 with the DRAW_COLOR_HISTOGRAM style, 5 colors are set using the compiler directive #property, and then in the OnCalculate() function the colors are selected randomly from the 14 colors stored in the colors[] array. The N parameter is set in external parameters of the indicator for the possibility of manual configuration (the Parameters tab in the indicator's Properties window).

//+------------------------------------------------------------------+
//|                                         DRAW_COLOR_HISTOGRAM.mq5 |
//|                        Copyright 2011, MetaQuotes Software Corp. |
//|                                              https://www.mql5.com |
//+------------------------------------------------------------------+
#property copyright "Copyright 2011, MetaQuotes Software Corp."
#property link      "https://www.mql5.com"
#property version   "1.00"
 
#property description "An indicator to demonstrate DRAW_COLOR_HISTOGRAM"
#property description "It draws a sinusoid as a histogram in a separate window"
#property description "The color and width of columns are changed randomly"
#property description "after every N ticks"
#property description "The bars parameter sets the number of bars to repeat the sinusoid"
 
#property indicator_separate_window
#property indicator_buffers 2
#property indicator_plots   1
//--- input parameters
input int      bars=30;          // The period of a sinusoid in bars
input int      N=5;              // The number of ticks to change the histogram
//--- plot Color_Histogram
#property indicator_label1  "Color_Histogram"
#property indicator_type1   DRAW_COLOR_HISTOGRAM
//--- Define 8 colors for coloring sections (they are stored in a special array)
#property indicator_color1  clrRed,clrGreen,clrBlue,clrYellow,clrMagenta,clrCyan,clrMediumSeaGreen,clrGold
#property indicator_style1  STYLE_SOLID
#property indicator_width1  1
//--- A buffer of values
double         Color_HistogramBuffer[];
//--- A buffer of color indexes
double         Color_HistogramColors[];
//--- A factor to get the 2Pi angle in radians, when multiplied by the bars parameter
double         multiplier;
int            color_sections;
//--- An array for storing colors contains 14 elements
color colors[]=
  {
   clrRed,clrBlue,clrGreen,clrChocolate,clrMagenta,clrDodgerBlue,clrGoldenrod,
   clrIndigo,clrLightBlue,clrAliceBlue,clrMoccasin,clrWhiteSmoke,clrCyan,clrMediumPurple
  };
//--- An array to store the line styles
ENUM_LINE_STYLE styles[]={STYLE_SOLID,STYLE_DASH,STYLE_DOT,STYLE_DASHDOT,STYLE_DASHDOTDOT};
//+------------------------------------------------------------------+
//| Custom indicator initialization function                         |
//+------------------------------------------------------------------+
int OnInit()
  {
//--- indicator buffers mapping
   SetIndexBuffer(0,Color_HistogramBuffer,INDICATOR_DATA);
   SetIndexBuffer(1,Color_HistogramColors,INDICATOR_COLOR_INDEX);
//---- The number of colors to color the sinusoid
   color_sections=8;   //  see A comment to #property indicator_color1   
//--- Calculate the multiplier
   if(bars>1)multiplier=2.*M_PI/bars;
   else
     {
      PrintFormat("Set the value of bars=%d greater than 1",bars);
      //--- Early termination of the indicator
      return(INIT_PARAMETERS_INCORRECT);
     }   
//---
   return(INIT_SUCCEEDED);
  }
//+------------------------------------------------------------------+
//| Custom indicator iteration function                              |
//+------------------------------------------------------------------+
int OnCalculate(const int rates_total,
                const int prev_calculated,
                const datetime &time[],
                const double &open[],
                const double &high[],
                const double &low[],
                const double &close[],
                const long &tick_volume[],
                const long &volume[],
                const int &spread[])
  {
   static int ticks=0;
//--- Calculate ticks to change the style, color and width of the line
   ticks++;
//--- If a critical number of ticks has been accumulated
   if(ticks>=N)
     {
      //--- Change the line properties
      ChangeLineAppearance();
      //--- Change colors used for the histogram
      ChangeColors(colors,color_sections);      
      //--- Reset the counter of ticks to zero
      ticks=0;
     }
 
//--- Calculate the indicator values
   int start=0;
//--- If already calculated during the previous starts of OnCalculate
   if(prev_calculated>0) start=prev_calculated-1; // set the beginning of the calculation with the last but one bar
//--- Fill in the indicator buffer with values
   for(int i=start;i<rates_total;i++)
     {
      //--- A value
      Color_HistogramBuffer[i]=sin(i*multiplier);
      //--- Color
      int color_index=i%(bars*color_sections);
      color_index/=bars;
      Color_HistogramColors[i]=color_index;
     }
//--- Return the prev_calculated value for the next call of the function
   return(rates_total);
  }
//+------------------------------------------------------------------+
//| Changes the color of line segments                               |
//+------------------------------------------------------------------+
void  ChangeColors(color  &cols[],int plot_colors)
  {
//--- The number of colors
   int size=ArraySize(cols);
//--- 
   string comm=ChartGetString(0,CHART_COMMENT)+"\r\n\r\n";
 
//--- For each color index define a new color randomly
   for(int plot_color_ind=0;plot_color_ind<plot_colors;plot_color_ind++)
     {
      //--- Get a random value
      int number=MathRand();
      //--- Get an index in the col[] array as a remainder of the integer devision
      int i=number%size;
      //--- Set the color for each index as the property PLOT_LINE_COLOR
      PlotIndexSetInteger(0,                    //  The number of a graphical style
                          PLOT_LINE_COLOR,      //  Property identifier
                          plot_color_ind,       //  The index of the color, where we write the color
                          cols[i]);             //  A new color
      //--- Write the colors
      comm=comm+StringFormat("HistogramColorIndex[%d]=%s \r\n",plot_color_ind,ColorToString(cols[i],true));
      ChartSetString(0,CHART_COMMENT,comm);
     }
//---
  }
//+------------------------------------------------------------------+
//| Changes the appearance of a displayed line in the indicator      |
//+------------------------------------------------------------------+
void ChangeLineAppearance()
  {
//--- A string for the formation of information about the line properties
   string comm="";
//--- A block for changing the width of the line
   int number=MathRand();
//--- Get the width of the remainder of integer division
   int width=number%5; // The width is set from 0 to 4
//--- Set the color as the PLOT_LINE_WIDTH property
   PlotIndexSetInteger(0,PLOT_LINE_WIDTH,width);
//--- Write the line width
   comm=comm+" Width="+IntegerToString(width);
 
//--- A block for changing the style of the line
   number=MathRand();
//--- The divisor is equal to the size of the styles array
   int size=ArraySize(styles);
//--- Get the index to select a new style as the remainder of integer division
   int style_index=number%size;
//--- Set the color as the PLOT_LINE_COLOR property
   PlotIndexSetInteger(0,PLOT_LINE_STYLE,styles[style_index]);
//--- Write the line style
   comm=EnumToString(styles[style_index])+", "+comm;
//--- Show the information on the chart using a comment
   Comment(comm);
  }


Updated: 2015.12.03