External Data (XData)

XData allows you to import your proprietary, external minute or higher time-frame bar data into CQG IC for charting and analysis. These charts can be viewed as historical (static) or in a snapshot/live mode (dynamic) depending on the data source. CQG provides an historical representation of the data and/or snapshots of the live data in a charting environment.

Once imported, you are able to analyze it using CQG’s library of over 200 analytic tools, including the popular Bollinger Bands, Relative Strength Index, Moving Average, and MACD (Moving Average Convergence Divergence) studies.

Use this study when you have an external data source represented either an historic ASCII data set or a continuously appended ASCII data set.

All data sets with a continuous date or time series can be used with this study.

You can also formulate custom studies specifically for your needs. The integration of your data with other markets adds additional depth to your analytic capabilities.

Data file format

The ASCII file must be tab-delimited (.txt file) or space-delimited (.prn file). File type .csv (comma-delimited) cannot be used. Data must be ascending.

Columns should contain this bar data:

      Column A = Date

If you select OldFormat as the date type when you set up the QFormula, then the date format must be YYMMDD. Otherwise, the date format can be any combination of DD, YY, and MM with any non-digit delimiter. For example, YYaDDbMM is valid date format.

      Column B = Time

Format HH:MM or HHMM. For daily or higher time-framed data, you do not need this column.

      Column C = Open

      Column D = High

      Column E = Low

      Column F = Close

CQG automatically assigns OHLC to four columns of data following the time, HLC for three columns, HL for two columns, and C for one column.

You can also create a file using CQG data by copying and pasting data from a Tabular Display chart.

To chart XData

1.  Click the Formula button to open Formula Builder.

2.  On the QFormulas window, click the New button.

3.  Type a name for the QFormula, and click OK. The new QFormula is displayed in the list with the next QNumber in the series assigned to it. Click the drop-down arrow to change the QNumber or type a new number.

4.  Click the XData button (at the bottom of the Formula Editor).

5.  Enter a CQG symbol in the Issue field. The symbol you choose reflects the same holiday schedule, session information, and price format as your external data.

6.  Browse to find the data file to use in the formula.

7.  Select the date format that you used in the data file. If you select OldFormat, then the date format must be YYMMDD in the data file.

8.  If you would like the system to check for changes in the ASCII file and automatically import the data into CQG, then set the Update Rate in seconds.

9.  Click OK to close the window.

10. Open a chart using the time that matches your ASCII file time frame.

11. Type the QNumber or the QFormula name in the entry field.

12. Once the XData curve is loaded in the chart, apply any study or indicator.

External Data Parameters




Line color.


Opens Specify Conditions window.


Line thickness.


Location of data file. Click Browse to search for it.


 Date format used in data file. Values:

      OldFormat (same as YYMMDD)





Price used to calculate study values.


Number of digits after the decimal point in the study’s outputs.


Rate at which the system checks for changes to data file.


Line style. Values:






Determines whether sharing of the vertical scales between studies is accepted.

      Auto = System determine whether sharing is feasible.

      On = Scale is shared regardless of the functions and studies displayed.

      Off = Scale is not shared.

ShareScale must be On if study is overlaid on a study with multiple outputs.