IB offers the WebTraderSM for customers who prefer a less-complicated trading environment, as an alternative to the full-featured Trader Workstation (TWS). WebTrader is a scaled-down version with a simplified interface that may better suit those who generally trade a single instrument or use more basic order types.
The clean, intuitive interface makes it easy to access market data and transmit orders for your IB account where access to TWS may benot be possible. WebTrader is the perfect alternative for users who work behind a firewall. No downloads are necessary with this simple HTML interface to create and manage your orders.
Note: WebTrader offers limited trading functionality as compared to the full-featured Trader Workstation (TWS) platform.
Choose WebTrader from the login dropdown list in the upper right corner of the IB homepage. Enter your IB user name and password.
A checkbox on the Login tab allows you to save your WebTrader settings to an IB server. When checked, any changes you make will be saved and used the next time you log into WebTrader regardless of where you initiate the session.
To view WebTrader in another language, select a language link. Once you're logged into WebTrader, you can change your language settings by clicking the Preferences button, then Site Preferences tab.
You can only be logged into one IB trading platform at a time. If you are logged into TWS or one of the mobile TWS apps, you will be prompted to disconnect the other session.
If your session closes due to inactivity, this does not affect any open orders you may have pending. To resume trading, click Return to WebTrader on the expiration page, and log back in.
WebTrader for Advisors
WebTrader has limited support for multi-account users such as Advisors and Brokers. An Account dropdown list is displayed at the top of each page.
- Select an account from any page – all information and actions on ALL pages are specific to that account.
- It is possible to allocate orders to the selected account only. WebTrader does not support allocating an order to multiple sub accounts.
WebTrader includes separate pages for specific tasks so that your interface is uncluttered and easy to read with actions on separate tabs.
Market Pulse will appear after log-in, as WebTrader first loads. The color coded bar charts display the current percent change of representative indices and bonds from different countries as well as foreign exchange rates. Once WebTrader has successfully loaded, you can view the Market Pulse data on its own tab.
Market View Panel
Market View Panel opens and shows representative data for the markets to which you subscribe.
To customize your list of contracts:
- To add tickers, click the Green + icon at the bottom of the ticker list. In the window that opens, select an instrument type from the drop down, and then enter an underlying symbol.
- Define contract parameters such as routing destination, right (put or call), strike and expiry (if needed), and click Add Contract. The contract is highlighted briefly in the Market View list.
- Use the Edit button on the top right of the toolbar to add, remove or rearrange elements on this tab. Edit mode shows displays:
- The green plus icon or red minus icon to add/remove new tickers or columns.
- Click and drag the three bars to reposition ticker rows or columns.
- Click the Done button to save all the changes.
Order Management Panel
The Order Management Panel appears at the bottom of several WebTrader tabs. Use the yellow arrowhead(s) on the title bar to expand or collapse the Order Panel on each page.
- The three main tabs on this panel New Order, Orders and Trades allow you to create, modify and manage your orders, display a list of all open orders and view your current fills.
New Order Tab
- Create orders by clicking the appropriate product type tab (Stock, Option, Futures, etc.) Valid order fields activate according to the security type selected.
- Enter a Symbol, then click the Go button or press Tab or Enter key. Select the contract from the drop-down.
- Fill in the rest of the order criteria, and then click Preview Order.
- When ready click Submit Order.
- WebTrader supports only basic order types – Limit, Market, Stop, Stop Limit, Limit-on-Close, Market-on-Close, Trailing Stop, or Trailing Stop Limit orders.
- Order Attributes – In conjunction with a Limit order, you can choose an order attribute by clicking the large green + for available choices:
- Discretionary - Define an amount that is added to or subtracted from the limit price to increase the price range over which the order is eligible to execute.
- Attach Trailing Stop - For a sell order, sets the stop price at a fixed amount below the market price. If the market price rises, stop price parallels the rise, but if the market price falls, the stop loss price remains the same. Reverse for a buy order.
- Create a Bracket order - Designed to limit loss and lock in profit by bracketing an order with two opposite-side orders.
- Time in Force – Simple Order Rules appear by default.
- Advanced Time In Force, when selected from the drop down in the upper right, will add the Start Time/Date and End Time/Date input fields and GTD (good til date) TIF to your order ticket. Be sure to set your correct Time zone on the Preferences tab.
- Outside RTH (Outside Regular Trading Hours) checkbox allows your order to be filled outside of regular trading hours. For US futures order handling rules, see the IB website.
- Click Preview Order button to display commission and margin implications of any trade before you transmit the order. Margin information shows what your total initial and maintenance margin and total Equity with Loan Value will be if the trade is executed.
- If all order parameters are correct, click Submit Order. Otherwise, click Modify on the Order Preview bar and edit the necessary parameters. Submit when ready.
- If you have Expert Mode turned on (enabled on the Preferences page), you can submit the order without previewing it.
Creating Spread Orders
Use the Spread tab in the order management panel to select from the available pre-defined named spread strategies or choose Custom to define your own strategy.
You can also create a spread directly in option chains on the Options tab – click the arrowhead next to the call or put bid/ask prices for valid spreads.
Select the strategy from the available list, enter the ticker and click GO.
- The worksheet automatically populate legs , the based on the strategy selected.
- Use the dropdown selections to change the Expiry, Strike or Put/Call.
- Select/modify the order criteria for each of the legs in the spread.
- Click Preview Order, to verify the trade and Submit.
Create a Spread
- Choose a named spread strategy from the Strategy drop down. The layout that populates in the order panel layout is locked for the strategy you selected.
- You can choose Create a Custom Spread from the strategy drop down or choose to customize a named strategy.
- Click the Lock icon to unlock the template and activate all spread fields to customize the spread inputs.
- WebTrader reloads the updated legs accordingly and displays whether the defined spread is a Debit or Credit spread.
- Click Preview Order, to verify the trade and Submit.
View working orders on the Orders tab.
- Color-coded order status displays in the Open Orders tab.
- Review, modify or request a cancellation on any orders that have not yet executed from the Orders tab.
- For Attached order types, only the working order appears. Use the arrow in the action field to expand the view to orders not yet triggered.
You can modify parameters for any order that hasn't executed.
- From the Orders screen, click Modify in the order row, which opens the order screen to make changes.
- Use Cancel to cancel out of the modify order screen without making any changes.
- The Order Status color updates with your order status.
Trades tab displays current-day executions by action, and shows either a list or a summary of executions for each underlying.
- Show Trades bar lets you select up to the previous 7 days of executions.
- Select List or Summary from the drop-down list in the upper right corner of the Trades tab.
View Account Information
The Account tab shows you a summary of your account status, your margin requirements, trading limits, equity value, net liquidation and P&L, and all open positions.
- Account Balances – with mark-to-market value
- Margin Monitor – with margin requirements in the base currency of account
- Market Value – cash and product values displayed by currency
- Positions – Mark-to-market values, average price with realized/unrealized P&L
- Average Cost: Average cost of open positions, including commissions.
- Unrealized P&L (Profit and Loss): (Market value of positions) - (average cost).
- Realized P&L Total is displayed when you close all or parts of a held position.
On the Account tab, scroll down to the Portfolio panel for a list of all currently held positions. Click on the column headers to do an ascending or descending sort.
- Open allows you to add to an existing position.
- Close allows you to close all or a portion of your position.
The Options tab displays option chains, creates a new tab for each underlying, and supports one-click order creation.
To create a new tab with option chains:
- Use the Green + icon on the tab bar to add an underlying.
- A new tab opens with a quote line for the underlying and the listed option chains displayed by expiry (LTD).
- Calls are listed on the left, Puts on the right.
- On the top right of the option chain, select the numbers of rows to show or click the All button.
- Use the yellow arrow to expand to view option contracts for that LTD.
- Click the Edit button to add, remove or reposition columns.
- View non-standard multipliers (Mini options) in the Class column.
- Access the Preferences button, then Content tab to specify the number of default expiries and strikes in the Options display.
Trade Option Contracts
After you define the underlying and display your option chains, you can create an order:
- Click a BID price on any option to create a sell order; click the ASK price to start a buy order.
- In the Order Management Panel, modify any parameters.
- Click Submit Order button to transmit.
- Use the arrow next to each bid/ask price to select a named spread strategy or define a custom spread.
Create a Spread
You can create a spread in from the Order Entry panel, or use the yellow arrow to expand a selected expiry and select from the available spread templates, or choose to Customize your own.
The Product tab shows market data, charts, option chains, and the Order Management for a specific symbol. Add additional ticker specific tabs using the Green + button.
Interactive Flash-based charts allow you to view market movement and volume for a stock, future or index. You select a time period and bar type when you first enter a chart symbol, and can change both settings once a chart is displayed.
- Time Period: You can select 1 or 5 days, 1, 3 or 6 months, or 1 or 5 years as the time period.
- Bar Type: Select a bar type for a chart. You can select a Line, OHLC (Open, High, Low, Close) or Candlestick chart.
Move your mouse over the chart to highlight current data points.
By default, a chart displays data for the maximum time range selected (the MAX button).
- Zoom buttons in the lower right corner of the chart that let you change the time scale.
- Click and drag the scroll handles to the left or right of the volume panel to zoom into a tighter time range, to view more detailed data and highlight the portion of the data displayed in the main line chart
Charts require Adobe Flash Version 9.0 or higher installed on your computer to view.
Market Scanners provide a quick scan of relevant markets and return the top contracts based on the instrument, parameter and filtering criteria you define. On the Scanner tab you can define the following scan criteria:
- Instrument: Select US Stocks, America Non-US Stocks, European Stocks or Asia Stocks.
- Location: Select the location/exchange whose data will be included in the market scan. The available locations depend on the selected instrument.
- Parameter: Select the available scanner parameters, including Top% Gainers, Hot Contracts by Price or Highest Option or Implied Volatility.
- Filter: Optionally, filter your scan results by price or dividend yield.
- Sort scan results by any column in descending or ascending order.
- Create a buy or sell order directly from the scan results.
Search provides drop-down boxes to help you easily define your criteria to find contract symbol, description, details and security IDs.
Drill down on any ticker symbol to find the contract details, expiration date, multiplier, etc.
You can change the display language of the Search page – Click Preferences in the upper right corner of the page. Select your preferred language, and Save Preferences.
The Portfolio News module displays news stories about the symbols you currently hold in your portfolio. The news feeds that appear in Portfolio News are only those to which you have subscribed. For example, if you currently subscribe to Reuters News, then you will see Reuters News stories in Portfolio News.
Click on the Preferences button to add the Portfolio news module to any tabbed page in WebTrader.
The Portfolio News panel has two sections:
- Top Storie lists the latest available title(s) for each contract and reload every minute.
- Article Details displays the full article for the selected Top Stories.
This feature allows you to view deep book data for the selected contract, as well as create and transmit orders. If you turn on BookTrader Expert Mode (Preferences | Trading Preferences | BookTrader), your order will be created and transmitted with a single click in either the Bid or Ask size field.
You can add the BookTrader module to any panel.
In the Preferences window:
- Select a Current Tab;
- Then add BookTrader (click on green + icon) from the Click to Add Modules section;
- Select the BookTrader module and use the green + icon to add a contract and click Save & Dismiss to load the feature.
BookTrader has two modes:
- Expert mode– If you elect BookTrader Expert mode, simply clicking a price level in the price ladder will create and transmit an order. Click on the green Ask Size to create a Sell Limit order, and the yellow Bid Size to create a Buy Limit order.
BookTrader Expert mode will automatically display the Open Orders and Executions features on the page if they're not already there.
- Non-Expert mode, clicking the Bid or Ask size fields creates an order but does not automatically submit the order.
Note that the default order size will be used as the transmitted order size when you use Expert Mode, and will appear in the Order Ticket when you are in non-expert mode. Modify the default size at any time by entering a new order size, or set the default quantity for BookTrader in the Preferences section.
Market depth Panel displays the alternative bids and offers away from the inside quote to allow you to better gauge market liquidity.
Create orders in the Market Depth Panel by selecting a price and completing the order ticket.
WebTrader includes separate tabs for specific tasks so that your interface is uncluttered and easy to read. Preferences button allows you to customize trading preferences, manage current tabs and add / remove modules.
You can customize the platform by defining your preferences.
- Site Preferences – allows you to select dark or light platform background, general and language settings
- Trading Preferences – set default order sizes, TIF and time zones
- Content – add separate data modules to any WebTrader tab to consolidate the information you use.
- Three columns appear. Select an existing tab or use the Green + to add your own tab.
- Available modules can be added to the selected tab with the Green +. The red Minus icon will remove the module from the selected tab.
- Third column allows you to manage content on the selected module.
- Market Data
- The current status of your streaming market data is displayed on the Market Data tab in the Preferences window.
- You can receive delayed market data for contracts for which you do not currently hold market data subscriptions.
- IB FYIs are designed to help keep you informed of upcoming events that could impact your account with custom notifications based on your portfolio and trading activity.
- When a new FYI message is available in WebTrader, the FYI link next to the Bulletin link will appear in red. You can modify FYI configuration in the Preferences window in WebTrader.