Home » Pinescript Syntax » Understanding if Statements in Pine Script

Understanding if Statements in Pine Script

Photo of author
Published on

Introduction to if Statements

In Pine Script, if statements are a fundamental tool for controlling the flow of your script based on certain conditions. Understanding how to use these effectively is crucial for any Pine Script developer.

Syntax of if Statements

Basic Structure

The basic syntax of an if statement in Pine Script is as follows:

if <expression>
{else if <expression>
  • Expression: This should be a boolean expression (true or false). It can be directly a boolean (bool) or a type that can be auto-cast to boolean, like int or float.
  • Local Block: This is a set of statements executed when the expression evaluates to true.
  • Else If and Else: Optional clauses for additional conditions and a default block if no condition matches.

Using if for Side Effects

You can use if statements to manage order flow in strategies. Here’s an example:

if (ta.crossover(source, lower))
    strategy.entry("BBandLE", strategy.long, stop=lower,
                   oca_type=strategy.oca.cancel, comment="BBandLE")

In this example, a strategy entry is made if a crossover condition is met; otherwise, an existing strategy is canceled.

Conditional Execution

If statements can be used to execute code on specific bars. For example:

indicator("", "", true)
var ourLabel = label.new(bar_index, na, na, color = color(na), textcolor = color.orange)
if barstate.islast
    label.set_xy(ourLabel, bar_index + 2, hl2[1])
    label.set_text(ourLabel, str.tostring(bar_index + 1, "# bars in chart"))
if Statements in Pine Script

This script updates a label only on the last bar of the chart.

if Statements to Return a Value

Basic Return Syntax

The if structure can also be used to return a value:

[<declaration_mode>] [<type>] <identifier> = if <expression>
{else if <expression>

This form assigns the return value of the local block to a variable.

Example with Return Value

indicator("", "", true)
string barState = if barstate.islastconfirmedhistory
else if barstate.isnew
else if barstate.isrealtime

In this script, barState is assigned a string based on the current bar state.

Nested if Structures

While Pine Script allows nested if statements, it’s often more performant to use a single if statement with logical operators:

if condition1 and condition2 and condition3

Key Takeaways

  • if statements are versatile tools in Pine Script for conditional execution.
  • They can control strategy flow, limit execution to specific bars, and return values.
  • Opt for combined conditions over nested if statements for better performance.


if statements in Pine Script offer a powerful way to execute code based on dynamic conditions. Understanding their syntax and applications, like controlling strategy flow or conditionally executing code, is essential for effective script development. Remember to use logical operators to combine conditions, as this approach is typically more efficient than nested if structures.

Leave a Comment