MetaStock(R) & CSIM Setup
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MetaStock and CSIM format files are defined through the File Export Preferences of UA's Select Data Series screens.

A simple way to reach this point is to click the fourth icon on the UA toolbar, "Add File."


The Selecting Data Series screen displays:


This screen allows you to select markets, identify all the parameters that apply to your selected commodity, stock or cash series, and identify the output file destination and format.

For our purposes, we'll give a brief example that focuses on the File Export Preferences panel found at the right. The many possibilities for defining data series are fully explained in the Your Portfolio chapter of this manual.

Market Type

Starting with "Market Type" at the top of the screen, click the arrow to show a menu of possible market types. For our example, we'll add some stocks. (These are simplest group to add.) Click "Stock/Mutual/Index from the menu, which produces a screen like the example above. It's nearly as easy to add futures contracts, but there are more choices, which we won't go into here.


Next type any number of stock symbols into the "Symbols" box. Separate them with commas, spaces or both. For our example, we've used commas and spaces and have indicated that we want to create files for the stocks General Electric (GE), International Business Machines (IBM), Motorola (MOT) and Ford (F). If we didn't know the symbols, we could click the [Mkts] button and select them from a list.

File Export Preferences


Now focus on the "File Export Preferences" in the right-hand panel. The first prompt is "Portfolio."

Our example shows the "MyStocks" portfolio that we created for this example. As a new user of MetaStock Format files, iIt is likely that you'll want to create a new portfolio to hold your data. The creation process allows you to customize portfolio features for use with MetaStock. Click the [New] button to display the Edit Portfolio screen. The top portion looks like this:


The Name box is empty when this screen first displays. You can name the portfolio anything you want. Consider descriptive titles such as, "Retirement," "Margined Stocks," "E-Trade," "Financials," etc. We entered "MyStocks" for our example (shown below).

You'll note that the second box in this window lists the "Directory." This holds a description of the physical location of your new portfolio, which is, in fact, a directory or folder on your hard drive. The default entry is C:\ua\files, indicating data files stored within a subdirectory of your UA software. This isn't necessarily the best place to store your MetaStock files!

Where should MetaStock files be stored? Click the [Browse] button and navigate to find the "MetaStock Data" directory. It is usually found in the root directory of your c: drive, as shown below. This directory already includes two data folders, so you can either select one of these to store data in a subdirectory, or select the "MetaStock Data" directory (as shown) so that your new portfolio will be added alongside the others on the list (recommended).


[Click OK] to select the highlighted directory.

Back at the Edit Portfolio screen, the Directory will display as selected above, but it won't include the name of your new portfolio. You'll need to edit the text to include your new portfolio's name. For our example, the Directory box should say, "c:\MetaStock Data\MyStocks" as shown below:


Customizing Your MetaStock Portfolio Settings

Once the portfolio name and directory are set, you should direct your attention to the tabbed pages in the middle of the screen. Click the one that says, "CSIM/MS Format Settings." (Note that these move around on the screen, depending upon what is selected.) When you click a tab, its corresponding settings are displayed.


The CSIM/MS (MetaStock) Format Setting screen provides a little information and allows you to customize two MetaStock-specific settings:

Volume and Open Interest

A MetaStock format data file cannot hold both total and contract-level volume and open interest simultaneously for a single market. Therefore, you must select your preference before file creation. MetaStock users typically use Contract Volume and Open Interest.

When Directory is Full

Your MetaStock file structure may have a limit of 200 files per directory, which creates the possibility that any given portfolio might become full. This setting allows you to select how Unfair Advantage will handle the new data files when the specified folder is not able to hold them. The three choices on the screen include examples of the data will be handled. We'll describe these below.

·Make subdirectories - A subdirectory will be created within your selected folder, repeating the same name.  
·Enumerate directory N - A directory will be created alongside your original subdirectory and will be identified by number.  
·Enumerate subdirectory N - A subdirectory will be created within your folder. The name will say "cont" (for continued) and be identified by number.  

The middle choice is generally preferred because it allows you to see new directories more easily.

When the Edit Portfolio screen is complete, click [OK] to proceed with your portfolio creation.

Editing Files

You can edit the contract selection, date range, export options and other settings for individual contracts and stocks in your portfolios through the Portfolio Manager panel on the left of your UA screen, or through the Portfolio Menu.

To edit a file, first select the appropriate portfolio in the Select Portfolio box, and then select the desired file from the list that displays below.

Click the [Edit] button or pull down the Portfolio menu and click, "Edit File Settings." This produces the "Selecting Data Series" screen, exactly like the one used to create the entry initially. Edit as desired and click [OK] to save your changes.

to portfolios through your entries in the right-hand panel of the "Selecting Data Series" screen as shown below.

Please refer to the instruction in the Adding/Editing Files chapter, and be sure you select the appropriate export portfolio and format as shown below.


When you need data for third-party programs, please check their reference manuals or call support to find out which of UA's formats should be used. ASCII files are often a good choice for compatibility with multiple analysis packages. Most third-party software that is compatible with UA (such as MetaStock, TradeStation, Delta Graphics, One Day at a Time, spread sheets, etc) use one of the export file formats:

·CSI Format (QuickTrieve)  
·MS (MetaStock) Format  
·CSIM Format  
·ASCII Format  

During the data distribution process, Unfair Advantage automatically writes the export format files specified in your portfolios to disk. UA offers a couple of additional methods to quickly and easily update your export format files whenever you want current data for analysis.

Your exported files will be placed in the folders you identified while adding them to your portfolio. To review where the files will be located or the specific parameters used in creating continuous files, right-click any contract or stock from the appropriate portfolio listing and then click "File Properties."

Writing All Export Files by Manually Distributing Data

As stated above, UA creates Export Format Files during the data distribution process. Although distribution is required after daily updates (it normally occurs automatically), you may initiate the process manually at any time. Doing so will write all Export Format Files listed in your portfolios, along with all the other processes included in the distribution.

From the Database menu, click "Manual Database Distribute."

Writing all Export Files without Data Distribution

To write all export format files, select the appropriate portfolio, and then click any item in the portfolio listing. Next, right-click your mouse. Click "Select All Files Visible" from the menu as shown. Everything in the portfolio will be selected.


After the files are selected, right-click your mouse again, then click "Rewrite File Immediately" from the menu. UA will write all files to disk as specified in the portfolio. You'll note that every active file is rewritten from start to end, assuring that any changes in contract specifications, error corrections and adjustments to raw or computed continuous files will be incorporated.

Writing Individual Export Files without Data Distribution

To write any single file for export to another file format, simply click the desired file on your portfolio list, right click your mouse and then click "Rewrite File Immediately." This procedure will write only the file you selected, and can be repeated as necessary.

Saving Changes, But Waiting Until Next Distribution to Rewrite Files

Any time you modify portfolio or any file specifications within your portfolio in ways that will affect export files, it is your choice whether to write your new or modified files now or to wait until your next data distribution (either manual or automatic). If you prefer to wait, select "Rewrite Files on Next Distribution," found right below "Rewrite Files Immediately" on the right-click menu shown above. If you don't make this selection now, you will be asked later if you want to write your new files at this time.

When one series is complete, repeat the process until the complete portfolio has been identified. Keep in mind that you may add and delete items in your portfolios through this screen at any time, and that you may modify your entries as well.