Insert vs Insert linked, copies of formulas, was: I just don't get it

despite having read the manual extensively, including this: How to use 'drag and drop' charting interface This copying formulas with a new name and then hiding them without showing the new name makes me nuts. I never can tell what is being actually being used, especially if I come to something long after the fact. For example, I make changes and they may disappear, or not, or worse, be different from one chart to another. The only way I seem to be able to figure this all out is to open the formula in the editor, click save as and see where it wants to be saved and with what name. Look, I don't think that I am stupid, but all this magic/hidden stuff is confusing as hell, has made me make some big mistakes, and cost me a lot of time. How about this? Clearly marking the fact that the item is a copy and, if so, which copy, so the user knows what's up?

Still confused years later,

John

As documented in How to use 'drag and drop' charting interface

Q. What is the difference between Insert and Insert Linked option in chart menu?

A. Insert command internally creates a copy of the original formula file and places such copy into hidden drag-drop folder so original formula will not be affected by subsequent editing or overlaying other indicators onto it. Double clicking on formula name in the chart tree is equivalent with choosing Insert command from the menu. On the other hand Insert Linked command does not create any copy of the formula. Instead it creates new chart pane that directly links to original formula. This way subsequent editing and/or overlaying other indicators will modify the original

So, if you do not want copies to be made just use Insert linked option.
Please be aware, that this means that if create multiple charts linking to same formula any edits to the formula (including drag-and-drop operation) will affect all of them.

Not really. The path to the formula file that given chart uses is displayed in the Parameters window. See: AmiBroker Knowledge Base » Relationship between chart panes

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As to the (unasked) question: "why copies are created during insert", the answer is quite simple: to leave original formulas unaffected by subsequent drag-drop operations and/or editing. Imagine that you create a new chart pane by clicking "Basic chart/Price". Then a new price chart appears. Then you want to drag-drop some averages. Now if copy of original formula wasn't created during Insert, subsequent drag-drop operation would overwrite plain vanilla "Price.afl" chart that ships with AmiBroker, with price WITH moving average overlay. This is most probably NOT what you wanted. You did not want original formulas that ship with AmiBroker to be corrupted by drag-drop operations. That is why Insert Linked is NOT default and NOT recommended unless you know what you are doing. The default Insert creates a copy of original formula, so subsequent edits / drag-drop operations affects only copy, not the original.

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