Zig Zag: The Trend Highlighting Indicator

Zig Zag is a trend-following indicator that can be used to identify when a market is about to turn. The indicator was originally created by the late John Henry, who won the Nobel Prize in economics for his work on volatility and financial risk management.

The zigzag indicator secret is a trend-highlighting indicator that helps traders identify the best time to buy or sell.

  • Traders may use the Zig Zag indicator to minimize market noise.
  • With its higher highs and lower lows, it draws attention to underlying patterns.
  • The indicator performs better in markets that are highly moving.

What is the meaning of the Zig Zag indicator? 

Traders are well familiar with the Zig Zag indicator. It shows price swing highs and lows, as its name implies. It assists traders in quickly and accurately identifying market highs and lows.

It’s a flexible indicator with a straightforward approach. Market prices, as you may be aware, never move in a straight line due to constant changes. It is based on the basic concept of disregarding any minor changes and concentrating only on linking the upper and lower charts.

Furthermore, it makes no forecasts regarding future pricing or price trends. It simply emphasizes the significant changes that have occurred in the past. Because of the way it works, traders can keep track of major market moves without being sidetracked by minor variations.

Deviation, depth, and backstep are the three factors that govern its operation. To utilize the Zig Zag indicator, you must first understand how these parameters operate. It is also one of the most widely used indications, with the zig zag indicator being included in nearly all well-known trading terminals.

The origins of the Zig Zag indicator and who developed it are unknown in history texts. However, it is certain that it is one of the earliest indicators to be employed in the stock market. It became popular among forex traders later on. 

The Zig Zag indicator’s parameters

When compared to other indications, the Zig Zag indicator is very simple to use. Its operation is dependent on three variables that control the computations. It’s worth noting that the Zig Zag indicator may be modified to suit various market circumstances despite having just three parameters. These characteristics make it simple to anticipate how the indicator will behave. The reason for this is because these variables decide which highs and lows the Zig Zag will take into account. These are the three parameters:


Deviation is a metric that helps traders determine the minimum number of pips or points needed to establish highs or lows. This number is represented as a percentage and is by default set to 5%. That implies the Zig Zag indicator only tracks price changes of 5% or more, and any minor variations are disregarded. 


The depth parameter specifies the minimum number of bars on which the second maximum or minimum deviation cannot be constructed. 


The backstep option displays the smallest number of bars between local highs and lows. 

All three factors work together to make plotting the zig zag indication simple for traders. It is critical to comprehend how these parameters operate. This knowledge helps traders comprehend how the Zig Zag indicator displays data and tracks high and low points. 

What information does the indicator provide to traders? 

The Zig Zag indication is a flexible indicator that may be used for a variety of applications. On the traditional chart, it informs traders about the trading direction as well as the highs and lows. Its operation is determined by three factors. Traders may play with with those settings to see what works best. It works best when combined with other methods such as the Double Top, Support and Resistance, Elliott Wave, and so on. The Zig Zag indicator aids Elliott Wave Theory users in determining where each wave in the trading cycle is located. The Zig Zag may also be used to detect support and resistance zones that lie between the highs and lows. It also shows reversal patterns such as the head and shoulders top. 

Traders should remain in a trade until the zig zag indicator’s line verifies in the opposite direction, according to technical experts. For example, if investors want to take a long position, they should wait until the Zig Zag line verifies by turning downward before selling. They also recommend that you earn the most money by utilizing long periods. Otherwise, the chances of losing a transaction are quite significant. All of this contributes to the zig zag’s versatility and uniqueness.

What is the best way to utilize the Zig Zag indicator?

As previously said, the Zig Zag indication is very simple to use in comparison to other indicators. Traders may use it in a variety of ways. It may be used as a confirmation tool or a wave counter to aid Elliot Wave traders. Harmonic patterns are also recognized using it. Because it’s a technical analysis tool, it’s also simple to spot traditional chart patterns. It also helps traders understand a bigger picture of trends or patterns, as well as the market’s trading direction. Because it does not produce signals automatically, traders must manually construct patterns to visualize current trends. The following methods have been developed by technical analysts and professionals to compute the zig zag indicator. 

  1. Choose a high or low starting point for your swing.
  2. Calculate the price change in percentages or points.
  3. Determine the next high or low position that is different from the beginning point.
  4. Draw a trendline from the beginning point to the new position to trace the deviation.
  5. Steps 3 and 4 should be repeated for the most recent low and high marks.

It’s crucial to remember that a trend line can only be formed when there’s a significant difference between the swing low and swing high. This deviation may be expressed as a percentage or as a number of points. According to analysts, a higher retracement percentage of points should be used. It will assist traders in ignoring price noise that is irrelevant to their research.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of using the Zig Zag indicator? 

The Zig Zag indicator is used to examine price fluctuations that have a predetermined value. On the price chart, its trendlines connect the vortex and the major base. It only shows the most significant price reversals or other changes, ignoring minor variations. As a result, it is one of the most important tools for chart assessment and analysis. It offers a slew of benefits for traders, including:

  • It has the capacity to highlight the most significant market trends while also removing other price variations. 
  • This indicator may be used in a variety of periods. 
  • It has considerably greater clout when used in tandem with other technical analysis techniques like Elliot Wave.
  • It allows traders to get a more comprehensive view of the price graph.
  • As a flexible indicator, it may be used in a variety of ways by professional traders.

The Zig Zag indicator, like the majority of other indicators, has certain limitations. The main drawback is that it relies on price history to provide buy or sell recommendations. It is unreliable in this regard since future prices may not be predicted. As a result, dealers are unable to utilize it to predict future prices. Furthermore, due of the trendline’s transient character, it is useless in determining when to enter or leave. 

The zigzag indicator for intraday is a trend-highlighting indicator that can be used to identify when an asset’s price is trending.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Zig Zag a good indicator?

Zig Zag is a good indicator, but it is not the only one.

What is backstep in zigzag indicator?

The backstep is a technique used in music notation to indicate that one or more notes should be played on the previous beat.

What is deviation in zigzag?

Zigzag deviation is the amount of space between each zigzag in a pattern. It is usually measured in millimeters, but it can also be expressed as a percentage of the pattern width.

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