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TWS BookTrader Webinar Notes


Market maker designed to instantaneously transmit orders from a deep book ladder of prices, the TWS BookTrader is a favorite among active traders, scalpers, and arbitrageurs to take advantage of immediate trading opportunities.

BookTrader allows you to rapidly enter orders from a deep book window at any price.

This TWS feature component functions independently, yet shares common elements allowing you to view market data and monitor price variations in the underlying, submit and manage orders, view execution reports and changes to your portfolio from this standalone window.

Open BookTrader

With a ticker selected, simply right click and in the pop-up menu choose Trading Tools > BookTrader.

TWS BookTrader

BookTrader displays as a separate window with a series of prices above and below the best bid and ask for the contract you select.

When BookTrader window opens, you'll notice the familiar trader tool layout displays above the ladder of prices -- with a quote line to monitor price variations for the underlying and an order management panel with tabs for Orders, Activity Log, Executions and Portfolio positions.

This trader tool layout provides you with context sensitive right click functions, customizable market data and order row fields, quick click order entry with shared order default values and consistent order status colors.

BookTrader Colors

BookTrader displays a lot of information in a small space using colors & numbers for at-a-glance recognition.

TWS BookTrader

The Bid Size column is yellow and the Ask Size column is green until you create an order. The updating values in these columns represent the size of an order at the specific price, and help show market depth. The Status field remains gray until you submit an order at that price level.

Ladder Price Field - background colors

  • The current best bid price is shown by a Yellow background; size is in the Bid Size field.
  • The current best ask price is shown by a Green background; size is in the Ask Size field.
  • The Last transaction price is highlighted by a Slate Blue background.
  • The High price is highlighted by a Bright Blue background.
  • The Low price is highlighted by a Red background.


  • Displays the volume of trading each day, at each price level on the ladder.
  • Bar colors coincide with colors in the Price field, for example the last trade is teal blue, the current best ask is green, current best bid is yellow.
  • Hover cursor over a price bar for the volume at that level in a tooltips display.

Order Row - background colors

  • Bid or Ask Size column
    • Blue background indicates a Limit order
    • Red background indicates a Stop order
  • Status column displays global TWS order status colors

Create and Transmit Orders

BookTrader is a market-maker designed feature where you

  • Select a price level in the BID size to create a BUY order
  • Select a price level in the ASK size column to create a SELL order.

Context Cursors - Hold your cursor in the yellow Bid Size column, the text Buy appears with the cursor to let you know that clicking at a price level in this field will initiate a buy order. Notice the cursor changes when in the green Ask Size column to show you clicking in the field will create a SELL order.

Default Size value entered in box (upper left) determines the order size when you click within the ladder to create the order. It can be modified at any time to change the order quantity for BookTrader.

Armed Box - When you first open BookTrader, it is "unarmed" as a safety precaution, meaning you are required to confirm your intentions before transmitting an order. Clicking in the Ask or Bid size columns opens the Order Confirmation box with the order summary information and a Transmit button.

TWS BookTrader

If you are looking to transmit orders with a single click, you can "arm" the application. Once you check the Armed box, an activation contract opens and must be agreed to which readies BookTrader to for single click order transmission.

By selecting "Do not show pop-up again" the same Arm activation contract appears.

Understand that when the feature is "armed" a single click in the bid or ask size field creates and immediately transmits an order directly to an exchange.

Click price level to create order

Use Mouse clicks at the determined price level in the Bid/Ask Size columns to create the order using the specified Default Size. An order confirmation box now displays to transmit the order.

  • Left click on a bid or offer size to create a LIMIT offer size column turns light blue to indicate LIMIT order
  • Right click on a bid or offer size to create a STOP order size column turns red to indicate a STOP order
  • Hold ALT key and click bid or offer size for a Bracket order. To modify the stop offset calculation for Bracket orders, on the Configure menu select Order then Configure Order Presets.

When creating parent/child orders, the relationship between the attached dependent orders is shown via the Key field in the order row and in the ladder.

  • The parent order is assigned a whole number
  • Each child order is sequentially given a decimal of the parent key number to indicate its relationship to the original order.
  • In single status column mode the Key appears in the size field for working orders.

Order Status

Your choice of how to display the status fields in the BookTrader Settings menu drives the order management procedures.

Show single status column

Single status selection displays a Status column next to both Bid and Ask side of the price ladder.

Use the Order control section of the Configure Settings to tell TWS how to handle multiple orders on the same side.

  • When Bid/Ask size is clicked at an empty price level and there's an existing order
    • Move existing order
    • Create new order (multiple order mode)
  • When Bid/Ask size is clicked at a price level with an existing order
    • Cancel the existing order
    • Create new order (multiple order mode)

Your request to cancel will not be fulfilled if the working order is executed prior to the marketplace receiving your cancel order or cancel and replace order.

Show separate status column for each order

When Show Separate Status Column is selected, BookTrader works in Advanced Mode:

  • An Order column is created in which all parts of associated orders (parent and child orders) are visible and can be modified.
  • Enables the Order Type Select buttons above the quote panel in BookTrader which allow you to build the bracket order
TWS BookTrader
  • These buttons will override the default mouse click functions of BookTrader to create only the order type selected – For example, if you click the LMT order type select button, any mouse click you perform in the price ladder, even a right-click, creates a limit order.
    • To return to the default click actions, be sure to click None

Use the LMT button or left mouse click at a price level to create the parent limit order. Then in the Order Status column that opens, use Order type select buttons to attach these elements:

  • LMT - parent order
  • STP - stop order
  • SLMT - stop limit
  • TLMT - target limit order Click a price level in the Order Column to attach the dependent order type indicated with the context sensitive cursor. When you select a price level in the order column the selected order is attached to the parent order in that column.

Text is colored to show buy or sell action on the context sensitive cursors that display in the Order Column to indicate the order type and side (blue text = buy, red text = sell) that will be created when you select a price level.

TWS BookTrader

All associated orders appear in the specific Order column that opens with working orders on the Bid and Ask side of the price ladder.

  • Each order component can be adjusted individually by selecting the order, when cursor changes to double-sided arrow, click and drag to new price level.
  • Associated dependent orders can be modified as a group by selecting the ALT key and clicking and dragging the parent to a new level.
  • The size of the order can be modified by clicking in the row header and entering a new quantity as shown above.
  • Suborders can be canceled by right clicking on them (default) or using a hotkey.
  • The bracket can be canceled by clicking the C on the row header.
  • The size of the order can be modified by clicking in the row header and entering a new quantity.
  • Child orders are indicated with a superscript C and display the appropriate order status color.

Your request to cancel will not be fulfilled if the working order is executed prior to the marketplace receiving your cancel order or cancel and replace order.

Configure BookTrader

You have the ability to customize how you want information to appear – use the Configuration menu drop down to change settings, colors, add market data fields, or order line values. You can even choose to change the colors displayed as well as the sounds associated with the BookTrader events.

TWS BookTrader


For details on all system-configured BookTrader shortcuts, use Ctrl+H or open the BookTrader Hotkeys window in Global Configuration to design your own.

TWS BookTrader

You can separately configure any of the preset buttons or configure hotkeys according to your needs.

  • Create Shortcut button allows you to configure a new hotkey, select an action and record the keystroke.
  • Select a predefined hotkey and use the Configure button to change the default settings.

Deep Book buttons

Use the Deep Book Buttons to filter out market data from the price ladder. De-select a button to filter out that data. The Others button includes Level I data from exchanges that don't offer deep data.

TWS BookTrader

The NASDAQ Total View and NYSE Open Book data are available by subscription. You can request the additional Trading permissions in Account Management.

Default Size Multiples for BookTrader

A new Preset feature designed to help speed up order placement in BookTrader lets you specify a series of quantity multipliers that will be used display a series of BookTrader order size multiples in the Bid and Ask Size fields of the BookTrader ladder.

To specify multiples, use the Presets section of Global Configuration. Select an asset type and in the Size section Specify BookTrader Quantity Multiples by instrument type. These multiples can be accessed on a per order basis from the Configure drop-down menu.

TWS BookTrader

In the BookTrader ladder, click the desired size in either the Bid or Ask column to automatically create an order of that size. For example, if you define multiplier of 2, 4 and 6 and have a default futures order size of 5, the Bid/Ask Size fields in BookTrader will display size buttons showing 10, 20 and 30 as available order sizes. For stocks, if the default order size is 300, the segregated Size Field displays 6, 12 and 18 (indicating order sizes of 600, 1200 and 1800). Please note that clicking the Bid Size or Ask Size (not using a Multiple button) will still create an order that uses the default order size.