Thinkorswim RTD Excel 49

Real Time Data (RTD) Exported Live to Excel Spreadsheet

Thinkorswim RTD Excel

Thinkorswim RTD Excel

Have you ever wondered how to include real time live data from Thinkorswim platform into a spreadsheet? Once you learn this simple technique, you will be able to use your spreadsheet skills to build a fully customized live snapshot of the market in real time. Even if you don’t know how to use spreadsheets, this tutorial shows how truly simple it is. With even a rudimentary understanding of spreadsheet formulas you can create a spreadsheet which displays your open positions in a way not possible on the Thinkorswim platform alone.


*Thinkorswim is a chart analysis platform offered by TD

TD Ameritrade provides financial services including the trading of Stocks, Futures, Options and Forex.

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49 thoughts on “Thinkorswim RTD Excel

  • N D

    Hi. I am getting the live data – thanks for the help!
    And do you know if there a way using RTD to read, lets say Volume for an equity every 30 minutes during regular trading hours? So basically I would like to have a cell for each 30 minute increment so I can save it.

      • Nate

        definitely understand. Was just curious if there’s a way to plug in a stock and set a specific time to get a complete breakdown of how that stock was behaving and all of its stats at that specific moment in time

      • DONNELL

        that actually is incorrect. RTD addin actually streams historical data “live” when you are in on demand mode. I have used this countless times in an advanced trading/scanner built in excel on a daily basis for quite awhile

      • Pete Hahn Post author

        In my view that is the same exact thing as real time data. RTD does indeed stand for Real Time Data. Running the OnDemand feature on Thinkorswim merely changes the point in time in which real time data is streamed into the spreadsheet. It still does not allow you to load an entire year worth of historical data, which is a feature already available in other trading platforms.

  • Thomas Taylor

    Great Video, but I am missing the very first step. When I copy and paste the files into Excel they all come back with a “#NAME” error. It appears to be related to telling Excel what to do with the “tos” connection.

    • Pete Hahn Post author

      Make sure you are doing on the Windows version of Thinkorswim. It may not be working while markets are close (this is Real Time Data after all). After accounting for those two items, if it still does not work when markets reopen then check if you have a security setting preventing macros from functioning.

  • catherine

    I am trying to export RTD from a scan in TOS (Option Scan) and I follow the steps, but the other columns never populate (just column A). Do you have any trouble shooting suggestions? All I am trying to get is the share price and the option price that appear on my scan. Thank you for any suggestions.

    • Pete Hahn Post author

      You will probably need to save the scan and select your saved scan as the source of the “Quotes” section of the MarketWatch tab. Once that loads, do your export to Excel from the MarketWatch tab.

  • Bernard

    Hi Mr Hahn, Hopefully you can help me to advance to the next level with RTD download into excel.
    I have not used any of the custom fields, but assume that it is possible to use some of those for conventional parameters like Simple or Expontential Moving Averages, or Average Daily Range ( currently not automatically downloadable). Can you show me where I can find the information to do that? Thanks!

    • Pete Hahn Post author

      Using this method you can only get current live data from Thinkorswim into Excel. This video is not an introduction to the topic. this video shows the absolutely limits of what is possible.

  • A Paul

    Hi Mr Hahn,

    Is it possible to have a watchlist connected to excel? If I save a TOS-scan into a watchlist, then this watchlist likely changes every time the scanner runs in the background. The question is: can we capture this dynamic list of tickers through excel-RTD?
    I can see how a single run of a scanner can be statically connected to excel, but that seems to fix the list of tickers that were found in that run.

    I recenltly came across your channel and really appreciated the awesome helpful nuggets that you placed in there. Thank you so much for your help to the community.

    • Pete Hahn Post author

      Sorry the answer is no but I will take the time to describe things in a bit more detail so you understand how this works. The RTD function “pulls” data from Thinkorswim but Thinkorswim is not allowed to “push” data to Excel. Therefore Thinkorswim is not able to push a new list of ticker symbols into Excel. In order to update the list of ticker symbols in Excel you must manually export them from Thinkorswim.

      • A Paul

        Thanks much, Mr Hahn, for your response.
        I figured, a roundabout, but automated, way of getting it out of TOS: by writing a query through TDAmeritrade-developers’ API. Which seems to return real-time updated watch lists created out of TOS-scans. It’d be so cool to have it straight out of TOS through an excel RTD formula (if it existed) and avoid that entire roundtrip. Alas!

      • PrestoWind

        It it possible for the people at TOS to see what your spreadsheet looks like when you’re running RTD? Do they have a way to snoop?

      • Raul

        Can you give me some idea or advice to send buy and sell orders from excel to thinkorswim.-I will appreciate everything you can tell me.-Thank you very much.-

      • Pete Hahn Post author

        Hi have no intention of learning how to fully automate trading on Thinkorswim unless and until it is fully sported natively within the platform itself. Plenty of other platforms out there that support this. If fully automated trading is crucial to your trading success you should be moving to a platform that supports it rather than trying to turn a lawn mower into a race car.

  • Craig

    I can add studies to a table on TOS, but when I export to RTD, the cells are blank. Do you know if there is a way to get this info?

    Thanks for this great video.

    • Craig

      Hmmm…Upon a closer look, in TOS I have the “custom expression subscription limit exceeded” in the thinkscript columns. I only have one column with 10 stocks, so I don’t know why I have that error. I don’t know if my RTD function would show numbers in Excel if that error were not present.

      • Pete Hahn Post author

        Only thing that occurs to me is you might have another watchlist open somewhere on the platform that is using all your available custom quote resources.

  • Mark

    Hi great video, super simple to understand. What I am having trouble is how to execute a trade once the excel criteria are met? Then of course how to manage said trade. Any thoughts? Thanks in advance good trading to you!

  • S D5767

    I just spoke with someone at Think or Swim and they had no idea what RTD even was. Is there a list of Field definitions available and can you save that Excel Spreadsheet and have it link back to Think or Swim every time you open it or do you need to do the download to excel every time?

  • Eve

    any idea how to show regular trading hour low or high of ES ?
    =RTD(“tos.rtd”, , “LOW”, “/ES:XCME”)
    is for whole day low, not regular trading hour low

    • Pete Hahn Post author

      It may be possible to do this with a custom column in a watchlist. The custom column would need to be set to intraday time frame and the code would need to use recursion to capture the high and low between the open and close of the regular session. Too complex to address this here in the comments. Post a request in the Q&A forum where we can provide a more complete solution.

  • Tim

    Problem solved. I was using a computer at work, so I did not have the administrator password. To begin, right click on the TOS desktop icon and run as administrator. Enter your account # and admin. password, as you normally do. When the TOS program starts, open the trade screen and export your data into an excel spreadsheet. It should work fine.

  • Tim

    I’m using windows now, and able to copy and paste data directly into an excel spread sheet. The cells appear as “name” only, and are static. If I create a file, then copy and paste it into excel, the data appears, but remains static. My TOS platform is running.

      • Tim

        There futures markets are open and my TOS trading platform is running. Does this only work during regular trading hours for equities?

      • Pete Hahn Post author

        1. Make sure you are using the current version of MS Excel or Apache Open Office. 2. Check for warnings messages requiring you to “enable content” on the spreadsheet. 3. Wait to see if this all starts working when markets open. 4. Contact TDA support for assistance if none of these fix the issue as this is as far as I can take you.