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Bloomberg: Getting Started: Basics

The Bloomberg Terminal

BMC screen on Bloomberg terminal

A typical Bloomberg Professional terminal will have two monitors and a unique keyboard.

The dual monitors are helpful as they allow Bloomberg users to view multiple displays simultaneously. The active panel will show a blue flashing cursor. You can switch between panels using the <PANEL> key or by clicking on the panel that you wish to work on. 

In addition to the monitors and panels,  Bloomberg Professional will also have a unique keyboard. This keyboard is developed to make using the menu-driven navigation in Bloomberg Professional easier.  

The Bloomberg keyboard

  • Color-coded to provide users with quick access to data and functions. 
  • Yellow Keys - Market Sector Keys        
  • Green Keys  - Action Keys        
  • Red Keys - Cancel & Log Off Keys

Bloomberg Keyboard highlighting red, yellow and green colored key options

Keys to know:

  • Esc/Cancel - Red key. Like a normal Escape key. Striking it will stop whatever you are doing.
  • Enter/GO - Green key. Like a normal Enter key. You will use this after every command that you enter.
  • Print - Green key. Press Print once to print the current page or enter number of pages you wish to print & Print (ex. 5 Print)
  • Menu - Green key. Press Menu to navigate from any function back to a menu of related functions (and ultimately back to the main menu).
  • End/Back - Green key. Will take you back to the key previous screen. 
  • Help - Green key. Press Help key once to display help function and a description of the current function that you are using. Press help two times to email the Bloomberg  24 hour help desk. 

Basic Searching

Browsing Menus

Bloomberg functions are organized by menus that are classified by market sector or product type. Each menu is part of a hierarchy. 

Access menus using the Menu button on the screen, the Menu Key, or using a Yellow Market Sector Key.  

Using Function Codes 

An alternative to using the menus is to search by function code. By entering a directly into the command bar, users can eliminate the steps. This guide offers lists of frequently used codes. 

There are 2 types of function codes: Security Specific, for analyzing a loaded security and Non-security specific, for locating information on a sector or news & events. 

To load a security, enter the ticker or identifier, hit the Yellow Market Sector key that represents the asset type, and then click on the Green Enter/GO key.  

You can always search on a keyword and press the Green F1 Help key if you don't know where to start. 

Frequently Used Functions & Shortcuts

Getting Started with Bloomberg:

  • MAIN: Main menu
  • BLP: Bloomberg Launchpad
  • SITE: Overview of system (select heading for functions)
  • CHEATDirectory of Bloomberg Cheatsheets 
  • EASY: Tips and Shortcuts
  • BU: Bloomberg University

Bloomberg Help and Learning

Bloomberg Help and Learning (BHL)

  • Help documentation on how to use market-specifc and advanced features on the terminal.

Bloomberg University (BU) 

  • Webinars and trainings hosted by Bloomberg. Sign up on the Bloomberg terminal but watch anywhere. 

Functions for the Market (FFM) 

  • Ideas for analyzing current events that are affecting the market and a great way to learn how to use advanced functions. 

Launchpad

A powerful feature that gives users the ability to combine & consolidate the Bloomberg content that you use most. Monitor data, group components, customize function panels, and share ideas with other Bloomberg users with this unique tool.