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Functions Returning Multiple Results in Pine Script

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Introduction to Tuple-like Returns

Pine Script™ allows for functions that return multiple results. This is particularly useful when you need to perform several related calculations within a single function and return all the results simultaneously.

Syntax for Multi-Result Functions

Defining the Function

A function that returns multiple results uses a tuple-like structure for its return value. Here’s an example of such a function:

calculateDifferences(x, y) =>
    sum = x + y
    diff = x - y
    [sum, diff]

In this function, calculateDifferences:

  • Takes two parameters x and y.
  • Calculates their sum (sum) and difference (diff).
  • Returns both results as a list [sum, diff].
Calling the Function

To utilize a function that returns multiple results, a special syntax is used to capture each result separately:

[total, difference] = calculateDifferences(open, close)
  • Here, [total, difference] captures the two results returned by calculateDifferences.
  • total receives the sum, and difference receives the difference of open and close.
  • Both total and difference can then be used independently in the script.

Limitations of User-Defined Functions

While user-defined functions in Pine Script are quite versatile, they come with certain limitations. Specifically, they cannot use the following built-in functions:

  • barcolor()
  • fill()
  • hline()
  • indicator()
  • library()
  • plot()
  • plotbar()
  • plotcandle()
  • plotchar()
  • plotshape()
  • strategy()

These limitations ensure that functions remain focused on calculations and logic, leaving visual and strategy elements to be handled outside the function scope.

Conclusion and Key Takeaways

  • Multiple Results: Functions in Pine Script can return multiple results, allowing for complex calculations within a single function call.
  • Tuple-like Structure: The results are returned in a tuple-like structure and can be individually accessed when the function is called.
  • Built-in Function Restrictions: Certain built-in functions are restricted within user-defined functions to maintain script integrity.

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