Home » Chart Information » Understanding last_bar_index Function in Pine Script

Understanding last_bar_index Function in Pine Script

Photo of author
Published on

In this article, we delve into the concept of last_bar_index within the context of Pine Script version 5, a powerful tool for creating custom indicators, strategies, and scripts on the TradingView platform. The last_bar_index plays a crucial role in developing scripts that require knowledge of the chart’s current or last bar’s index, enabling a wide range of trading and analytical strategies.

Introduction to last_bar_index

The last_bar_index is a built-in variable in Pine Script that represents the bar index of the last chart bar. In Pine Script, bar indices start at zero for the first bar on the chart. This variable is of the type series int, meaning it can hold a series of integer values that change over time as the script is recalculated with each new bar.


Let’s examine a practical example to understand how last_bar_index can be utilized in a trading strategy:

strategy("Highlight Last N Bars for Analysis", overlay = true, calc_on_every_tick = true)
barsCountInput = input.int(100, "Number of Bars:")
// Storing the 'last_bar_index' value, which changes with new real-time bars.
var lastIndex = last_bar_index
// Determining if the current bar_index is within 'barsCountInput' of the last bar, including real-time bars.
tradePermission = (lastIndex - bar_index <= barsCountInput) or barstate.isrealtime
bgcolor(tradePermission ? color.new(color.blue, 80) : na)

Walkthrough of Each Line:

  • Strategy Definition: Initializes the strategy with a name, overlay option, and calculation mode.
  • Input for Bars Count: Collects a user-defined number of bars to highlight.
  • Storing Last Bar Index: Uses a var keyword to declare lastIndex, ensuring it retains its value across bars. It is set to the current last_bar_index.
  • Determining Trade Permission: Calculates whether the current bar’s index is within the specified range from the last bar. It also checks if the script is running in real-time, allowing for dynamic updates.
  • Background Color: Changes the background color of the chart for the last N bars or in real-time conditions to aid visual analysis.

Key Features and Takeaways

  • Type: last_bar_index is a series int, dynamically representing the index of the last bar on the chart.
  • Use Case: Essential for strategies that adapt based on the proximity of the current bar to the chart’s end, especially useful in backtesting and real-time analysis.
  • Syntax: Direct and straightforward, used within conditional logic to enable or disable trading signals or visual markers.
  • Application: Versatile for various trading strategies, from highlighting specific bars for analysis to restricting trading activities to the most recent bars.

Understanding last_bar_index enriches your Pine Script toolkit, enabling precise control over script execution relative to the chart’s timeline. Whether for backtesting strategies or real-time market analysis, mastering this variable opens up new possibilities in trading script development.

Leave a Comment