ATR Average True Range Excel Calculation and Charting

The ATR or Average True Range is an indicator that measures volatility. This blog post will show you how to calculate the ATR in Excel and then chart it on your spreadsheet. The first step is to look at some basic definitions of volatility, which are considered by many traders as a measure of risk. 

Next, we’ll show how to use Excel’s built-in formulas to calculate the ATR for any stock over any time frame you want. Finally, we’ll show how to create an ATR graph on your spreadsheet so you can visually see this momentum indicator at work!

  1. Historical volatility is a measure of the magnitude and frequency of past price changes
  2. It helps investors to assess the risk in an investment by identifying periods of high volatility
  3. The atr (average true range) is a statistical measure that calculates how much prices have moved on average over a certain time period
  4. Volatility is important for traders because it can indicate whether you should buy or sell, and also help with timing your trades
  5. If historical volatility calculated with atr is too low, this may be an indication that prices are not fluctuating enough to make trading profitable
  6. Trading on leverage can magnify profits but also increase losses

Why is knowing historical volatility important for traders and investors?

An important measure of risk is historical volatility. It is calculated using Average True Range (ATR) and it measures the magnitude of price swings over a previous time period. Traders use historical volatility to gauge that instrument’s risk. Lower historical volatility means less risk; higher historical volatility means increased risk.

The history of volatility is noteworthy for many reasons, but one is its correlation with present-day prices. Historical volatility becomes predictive when prices make drastic reversals, which can be identified by observing past price action before reversals occur. Lower levels of historical volatility are often seen prior to reversals, while higher levels are seen following them. In the heat of a reversal, volatility falls. In periods prior to reversals, volatility rises.

One thing is certain: historical volatility can quickly become predictive when prices make drastic changes. This is why traders use the measure so extensively in their work. Lower levels of historical volatility are often seen prior to reversals while higher levels are seen following them.

In the heat of a reversal, volatility falls, and in periods prior to reversals, it rises. When studying historical volatility, you will notice that it usually takes on one of three shapes: straight-line (a lower volatility), stair-step (higher) or inverted stair step (higher). 

Which shape should you expect? Volatility reaches extremes when markets undergo momentum shifts from buyers over sellers or vice versa. Buyers and sellers establish new trends with their belief that the share or commodity they are entering will rise or fall relative to other instruments. When these beliefs lose their intensity, volatility turns into a stair-step pattern as traders paused for breath before entering yet another trend. 

At times prices move swiftly in one direction, so quickly that traders hesitate before taking the next position – again resulting in a flat volatility pattern until momentum resumes and new buying or selling gathers strength.

Step by step guide on how to draw an Average True Range (ATR) chart in excel.

Okay, you’ve got the historical data from Yahoo Finance. You’ve imported all of your trades in Excel and created a Stock Chart! Now how do we calculate ATR? There’s no need to worry because here is our guide on drawing an Average True Range with charts.

A true range calculation tells us what percentage price change has occurred over time–which can be very helpful information when looking at stocks or any other asset class; however it may not give users exact numbers so they have been able to visualize average trends visually instead of by using this technique called “averaging.” First thing first: find which column contains labeled values representing each trading session (e..g… Previous Close prices). Fro

Start with this tutorial if you don’t know how to import data from Yahoo Finance to Excel.

Standard Average True Range Excel

Step 1: Open your file with Open – High – Low – Close column

Open the file where you have saved the Open – High – Low – Close values. 

Excel Stock Chart

Step 2: Create the column for the calculations of the ATR

Create 5 new columns in the table: Daily Range | High – Close[1] |Low – Close[1] | True Range | Average True Range |

Average True Range ATR Indicator Excel Tutorial

Step 3: The Daily Range Formula

Firstly, we calculate the Daily Range that is High Price – Low Price. Write this formula:  =[@High]-[@Low]

We use this formula because we are inside the table. If you have a spreadsheet without a table, you can write:  =C2-D2

Excel Average True Range Daily Range Formula

Step 4: The High – Close[1] Formula

We subtract from the Today High Price the Close of yesterday candle. Write or copy and paste this formula: =ABS([@High]-E2)

Excel Average True Range High - Close Formula

Step 5: The Low – Close[1] Formula

We subtract from the Today Low Price the Close of yesterday candle. Write or copy and paste this formula: =ABS([@Low]-E2)

Average True Range ATR Indicator Excel guide

Step 6: True Range Formula

Now we calculate the True Range with this formula:

=MAX([@[High – Close'[1′]]]:[@[Low – Close'[1′]]];[@[Daily Range]])

Excel ATR indicator True Range Formula

Step 6: Average True Range Excel Formula

Finally, we obtain the Average True Range with this formula:


Substantially, we are creating one Moving Average of the last 14 True Range. For this reason, we start the calculation from J17.

Charting Average True Range ATR Indicator Excel

Select cell A1 “date”, press “CTRL + SHIFT” and “Down Arrow”, continue to press CTRL and click with the mouse on the cell J1 “Average True Range” then press “CTRL + SHIFT” and “Down Arrow”. You should have selected all two columns.

Select two colums in excel for average true range indicator chart

Now go to the “Insert” menu and select the line chart.

Creating a chart of average true range indicator in excel

That’s all. The Average True Range Indicator for Excel is correctly created.

Average True Range Indicator for Excel

You can confront this with TradeStation Average True Range Indicator with the Excel Indicator.

Average True Range in TradeStation compare to ATR in Excel

Excel is the most valuable tool for finance professionals

If you are a financial analyst, the data analysis and modeling within Microsoft Excel will be your best analytical tool throughout your career. Every day, a number of financial analysts rely on Microsoft Excel for a number of tasks from analyzing data, creating large financial models to finalizing deadlines. Thus, it is imperative that these professionals have efficient knowledge of how to use MS Excel. 

In order to do this, they must have the following skills:

Knowledge of MS Excel Functions

To start off with any task in finance, one has to know the functions present in the software so as to perform any specific task. The different functions available in MS Excel can help an individual analyze a specific set of data or aid in forecasting future trends. If you are not aware of the functions present in your software, then it will become difficult to perform any task that is related to finance.

Manipulating Data

This skill entails manipulating data so as to extract the required information from the data set for further analysis. Hence, it is important that an individual knows how to manipulate and extract specific data sets from a given spreadsheet so as to achieve maximum efficiency when performing tasks within Microsoft Excel.

Reducing Errors

As an analyst, one has to constantly produce accurate results in order for investors or clients to trust them with their money. Moreover, since there is always pressure on financial analysts to provide results in strict deadlines; if they make errors in their calculations or wrongly manipulate the input data, then it will lead to a loss of time and money. Therefore, financial analysts should be able to perform their tasks within the shortest period of time without making any errors so as to save both time and money.


Conclusion paragraph: The ATR is a momentum indicator that measures the volatility for any stock over any time frame you want. If your goal is to get into or out of stocks, this can be an important metric to track in order to make good decisions – but it’s not always easy calculating on Excel without some help. Luckily, there are tools online like Investopedia’s Stock Simulator which will calculate the ATR and other indicators for you automatically! You don’t have to spend hours crunching numbers yourself when someone else has already done all the work for you… so what are you waiting for? 

External link for The Average True Range (ATR)

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