How to Use the thinkorswim® Scan Tab

August 28, 2023 Advanced
On the thinkorswim Scan tab, traders can choose from and modify hundreds of predefined scans or create custom scans based their search criteria.

For traders and investors looking for new investment ideas, tools on the thinkorswim® Scan tab can provide a good starting point. These tools enable investors and traders to filter through tens of thousands of stocks, options, futures, and forex products quickly and efficiently. It's possible to choose from (and modify) hundreds of predefined scans or create custom scans based on specific search criteria.

How the scan tool works

The Scan tab is made up of several subtabs including Stock Hacker, Option Hacker, and Spread Hacker.

Traders can create a custom stock scan by selecting Stock Hacker. On the upper left of the screen, there are criteria fields with the default settings of Net change, Volume, and % change. Use the menus to select the desired filters. Select Add filter > Stock to add additional criteria for the scan. Select the X to the far right of a criteria row to remove a filter.

It's also possible to further narrow a search focus. For example, Add filter > Stock allows traders to filter securities based on the output of a predefined or custom-built chart study like a simple moving average or a Bollinger Bands® crossover. Add filter > Fundamental allows traders to filter securities based on a number of different fundamental data points about a company, such as earnings per share or dividend yield.

After selecting their filters, traders can enter parameters for their search. The scan dynamically displays the number of matches as a trader updates criteria. When all the filtering criteria is entered, select the green Scan button on the right side of the screen.

Image shows the Stock Hacker scan tool on the thinkorswim platform. It shows filters for stocks and illustrates how to add different types of filters.

Source: thinkorswim platform

For illustrative purposes only.

Save the scan results

The scan tab displays a list of stocks that fit the selected criteria, including useful data about each security like its last price, net change, percent change, and volume. To add the scan results to a watchlist, select the drop-down menu icon to the right of Add condition group. Select Save scan query in the menu to save the criteria for future reference. Via the drop-down menu, traders can also export their search results to an external file.

Use Option Hacker to filter for options ideas and Spread Hacker to search for options spreads.

Image shows how the Option Hacker can help a trader filter by delta, days to expiration, and implied volatility. It also displays contracts and strikes.

Source: thinkorswim platform

Not a recommendation. For illustrative purposes only.

Sync saved scans across devices

The Scan tab syncs market scans or a scan’s resulting watchlist across devices using thinkorswim. View a synced scan or watchlist on a mobile device by accessing the personal watchlists section of the app.

Options carry a high level of risk and are not suitable for all investors. Certain requirements must be met to trade options through Schwab. Please read the options disclosure document titled "Characteristics and Risks of Standardized Options" before considering any options transaction. 

With long options, investors may lose 100% of funds invested. 

Using protective puts will increase your cost basis in underlying securities.

All stock and options symbols and market data shown are for illustrative purposes only and are not a recommendation, offer to sell, or a solicitation of an offer to buy any security.  

The information provided here is for general informational purposes only and should not be considered an individualized recommendation or personalized investment advice. The investment strategies mentioned here may not be suitable for everyone. Each investor needs to review an investment strategy for his or her own particular situation before making any investment decision. 

Examples provided are for illustrative purposes only and not intended to be reflective of results you can expect to achieve.