8 Important Types of Stock Charts Guide: Usage & Examples

Choose The Right Kinds of Stock Charts For Your Trading. 8 Types of Charts, Line, HLC, OHLC, Candlestick, Market Profile, P&F, VAP & Equivolume.

Stock charts come in many shapes and sizes.  From the differences in the bars to the different concepts applied to the chart itself.  Here you will find a reference guide to the many types of charts available with an overview of their potential uses.

Stock Market Chart Types

There are eight important kinds of stock charts used by professional stock market analysts.  The Line Chart is the simplest, depicting only the closing price.  The High Low Close Chart shows the price high low & close.  As we move to OHLC, Japanese Candlestick, and Point & Figure Charts, a new world of understanding supply and demand is unleashed.

We explore the best eight stock chart types and the benefits of each.

Types of Chock Charts, Compare Multiple Stock Chart Types & Usage
Types of Chock Charts, Compare Multiple Stock Chart Types & Usage

8 Important Types of Stock Chart

Line Stock Charts

Line Stock Chart
Line Stock Chart

This is one of the most basic charts, probably giving the least amount of information.  The line in the top pane is drawn using the close price for each unit of time.  So if this is a daily line chart, the close price for the day is used.  If this is a 5-minute chart, then the close price for every 5 minutes of trading is used.

Line Stock Charts Pros

A straightforward view of the price movement. Suitable to use when comparing the performance of many stocks on the same chart.

Line Stock Charts Cons

It does not show the Price Open / High / Low for the trading period.  The day’s trading range is essential in price-based decision-making as it indicates bullish or bearish momentum.

Stock Charting Software With Line Charts

High Low Close Bar Stock Charts (HLC)

High Low Close Bar (HLC) Chart
High Low Close Bar (HLC) Chart

Using bars is a step up from the line chart as it allows us to plot additional useful data on the chart.  Here we have each bar representing a trading period with the price High, Low, and Close represented.  Refer to the diagram.

High Low Close Bar Charts Pros

More information is available, showing the range of the days trading, meaning did the stock price close near its high (bullish) or near its low (bearish).

High Low Close Bar Charts Cons

No opening price is reflected in this chart.  The opening price is vital as it allows us to immediately see if the price gapped up or down on open and where the closing price is in relation to the opening price.

Stock Charting Software With Line Charts

Open High Low Close Bar Stock Charts (OHLC)

Open High Low Close Chart (OHLC)
Open High Low Close Chart (OHLC)

The complete bar chart.  The chart of choice for those who like to use bar charts.  Here we see the day’s trading range, including the open price and the close price.

OHLC Charts Pros

We can see instantly if the trading period closed higher or lower than the open.  We can also see the length of the bar, which shows us the volatility or the strength of the trend.

OHLC Charts Cons

There are few downsides to this chart type, and many investors and traders use it.  Most chart packages also allow you to color the up days green and the down days red.  For those who prefer even more information in the price chart, the following charts can also be used.

Stock Charting Software With OHLC Charts

Japanese Candlestick Charts

Used widely in Japan and gaining a strong foothold in the rest of the world, the Japanese Candlestick chart gives an excellent insight into current and future price movements. Named Candlesticks because they look like candlesticks with a wick and the main body.

Japanese Candlestick Chart
Japanese Candlestick Chart

Japanese Candlestick Chart Pros

Gives an excellent view of the Open, High, Low, and close of the price.  Pictorially illuminating and easy to see trends.  There is a full reference below of 1 bar to 4 bar patterns, which helps us to make judgments on the future direction of price.  They connect psychology with the price pattern.

Japanese Candlestick Charts Cons

Although Candlesticks have many advantages, they can seem like information overload to the beginner.  There are also many Candlestick patterns to learn.

Further Reading on Japanese Candlesticks.

Automated Candlestick Chart Recognition

Before you jump into a headlong three months of studying and analyzing Japanese Candlesticks manually, I would highly recommend you use the power of modern stock charting algorithm software to do the job for you.

Three of our review-winning stock market chart analysis software vendors have functionality that can do a better job of identifying and analyzing candlesticks than humans can.  Give them a try.

CandleStick SoftwareTrendSpiderTradingViewMetaStock
Candlestick Patterns Recognized1232752
PricingIncludedIncluded$349 add-on
Full ReviewRead the ReviewRead the ReviewRead the Review
Get the SoftwareVisit TrendSpiderVisit TradingViewVisit MetaStock


Stock Charting Software With Candlesticks Charts


Stock Charts Using Volume

The use of volume in technical analysis is essential as volume allows us an insight into the supply and demand situation.  The following charts incorporate volume into the price window to provide additional information.

Volume at Price (VAP) Stock Chart

Volume at Price (VAP) Chart
Volume at Price (VAP) Chart

The price at volume chart is an exciting new development, as instead of showing volume for a specific period, it shows us the number of trades at a particular price level.

This enables us to see at what price level most market participants believe the stock is reasonably priced.

Volume at Price Chart Pros

Innovative and intuitive, this method of charting combined with standard volume bars can enable you to see market psychology both in time and price.  It is also easy to see volume increasing as price rises; this is a very bullish sign.

Volume at Price Chart Cons

Not all stock charting packages offer this type of chart indicator.

Stock Charting Software With Volume at Price Charts

  • TradingView – Our Number 1 Stock Charting & Analysis Package
  • TC2000 – Best For US Trading & Stock Analysis

EquiVolume Stock Charts

EquiVolume Stock Chart
EquiVolume Stock Chart

EquiVolume Charts attempt to provide the solution of Volume at Price differently.  Instead of plotting volume in separate bars, it is incorporated into the price bars themselves.

The wider the price bar, the more shares were traded during that period.

Equivolume Stock Charts Pros

Visually impressive and extremely easy to interpret.

Equivolume Stock Charts Cons

This type of chart can distort the timeline running across the bottom of the chart.  This makes drawing accurate trend lines more challenging.  Few Stock Charting service providers offer EquiVolume.  I would not recommend using EquVolume as a tool.

Very few software services support Equivolume.

  • TradingView Supports Equivolume with a Pine Script Called [RS Volume Bars].

Point and Figure (P&F) Charts

Point & Figure Stock Chart (P&F)
Point & Figure Stock Chart (P&F)

There are a few other types of charts that you probably have never heard of before.  However, they are quite useful, and you would be required to learn them if you wanted to become a Certified Technical Analyst.

Point & Figure Charts are very unusual as they feature no timeline along the bottom horizontal axis.  The chart is made up only of price swings.  The vertical price bar is arithmetic and shows only units of price.

A “0” is plotted if the price moves down a whole price unit (for example, 50 cents).  Then when the price changes direction and starts to move upwards, an “X” is marked in each box.  This filters out smaller price moves and enables us to focus on trend quality.

Trend lines are always plotted either horizontally or at 45-degree angles.

Point & Figure Stock Chart Pros

An excellent tool for doing price target calculations.  Simple to learn and interpret, few price patterns to learn.

Point & Figure Stock Chart Cons

Learning this type of charting can be easiest when performing the charting by hand.  That means you are marking the “X” and “O” on a piece of paper.  This can also be very time-consuming.

Few services offer Point and Figure Charts; however, TradingView offers a Point and Figure charting that is well worth investigating.

Stock Charting Software With Point & Figure Charts

  • TradingView  The Number 1 Stock Charting & Analysis Package

Market Profile Stock Charts

Market Profile Chart - Old School and Cool
Market Profile Chart – Old School and Cool

Developed in the 1980s by Chicago Board Of Trade Pitt Trader J. Peter Stiedlmayer.  The letters on the chart show time units.   “A” represents the first 30 minutes of trading, “B” represents the second 30 minutes of trading.

The point of control is the area (price range) at which most trades occur during the day.

The value areas are the price range at which 70% of the action happens.  When the price is above and below the value areas, this represents a possible ideal buying or selling point.

Market Profile Stock Chart Pros

People who use market profile charts become evangelists to the cause.  They believe it offers unique insights into buy and sell opportunities.  It can be a good option if you are a quick-fire day trader.

Market Profile Stock Chart Cons

It can require quite an effort to learn how to use them, and very few stock chart services offer this type of charting.

Compare Multiple Stock Charts

Chart TypeTrading ChartsInformationUsagePopularity
Line Stock ChartsNoLowEasyHigh
High Low Close Bar Stock Charts (HLC)NoMediumEasyHigh
Open High Low Close Bar Stock Charts (OHLC)YesHighEasyHigh
Japanese Candlestick ChartsYesHighDifficultMedium
Volume at Price (VAP) Stock ChartYesHighMediumLow
EquiVolume Stock ChartsYesMediumMediumLow
Point and Figure (P&F) ChartsYesHighMediumLow
Market Profile Stock ChartsYesHighMediumLow

The Best Stock Chart Type for Day Trading

Ultimately it is down to personal choice, but I suggest a Candlestick chart with Volume at Price overlayed on a 1 minute per bar arithmetic chart setting. Ideally, you would add to this a price volume indicator.

Stock Market Investing Training - Liberated Stock Trader Pro

Liberated Stock Trader Pro Investing Course
★ 16 Hours of Video Lessons + eBook ★
★ Complete Fundamental Stock Analysis Lessons ★
★ 2 Powerful Value Investing Strategies ★
★ 4 Dividend/Income Investing Strategies ★
★ How to Beat the Market: Growth Strategy ★
★ Professional Grade Stock Chart Technical Analysis Lessons ★

Go Pro Now

The Best Stock Chart Types for Long-term Investing

An OHLC chart set to 1 day per bar should provide ample detail for long-term investors, especially if you are only checking your investments every month. Adding longer moving averages such as an MA50 on the price pattern will also indicate the medium-term stock price direction. 

Stock Charts Summary

Best Free Stock Charting Software Review
Right the Best Free Stock Charting Platforms

Some people refer to investing in the stock market as gambling.  I do not see it this way.  With the vast array of technical and fundamental data available, you have a wealth of information at your fingertips.  Knowing how to use it is vital.

As you can see, there are many types of charts; the ones I would recommend are OHLC Bar, Candlestick Charts, and Price at Volume Charts.

However, the choice is yours.



Watch our Investors Guide to Stock Chart Types

Stock Charts - Review



  1. Market profile stock charts certainly must be a goto for day traders. Gotta spot activity during each time frame.

  2. I have to say that for the past few of hours i have been hooked by the amazing articles on this blog. Keep up the good work.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here