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This article will provide traders provide with a quick, easy rundown on everything you need to know about how to use the MetaTrader 4 trading platform (MT4), and how to trade using MT4. Through step-by-step tutorials, and with the use of screenshots and detailed explanations, this article will provide traders with everything they need to truly master the MT4 platform.
Setting Up MetaTrader 4
How to Set Up MetaTrader 4 on Windows
It’s actually easy to install MetaTrader 4, and it’s available for a variety of operating systems. Once you have downloaded MT4, simply run the .exe file and follow the on-screen instructions within the installation wizard.
How to Download MetaTrader 4 on Mac
With Admiral Markets, Mac users should find MT4 just as easy to use as Windows users, as they have a native version for OSX. Make sure to read through Admiral Markets’ MetaTrader 4 for Mac page to find out more on how to install MetaTrader 4 on Macs.
How to Use MetaTrader 4 with Android
Visit the Google Play Store to download MetaTrader 4 for Android or alternatively, download it via Admiral Markets.
How to Use MetaTrader 4 on iPhone
You can download a special Admiral Markets version of the MT4 iPhone App to work on iOS devices. To install MT4 on your iPhone, simply go to the Apple App Store, search for Admiral Markets MT4, select the app, and tap ‘Install’.
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How to Sign in on MetaTrader 4
When you first run MT4, it should prompt you to enter your account details, but if not, you can just click on the ‘File’ tab at the top left of the platform, and then select ‘Login to Trade Account’. You can then enter either your demo trading account or full trading account details.
How to Logout of MetaTrader 4
There is no specific function for logging out of MT4. If you do not want MT4 to save your login details, ensure that ‘Save Account Information’ is not checked when you first login. Then, when you close MT4, you will automatically be logged out.
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Trading With MetaTrader 4
How to Trade A Currency Pair Using MetaTrader 4
The simplest way to open a trade in MetaTrader 4 is to use the ‘Order’ window and then place an instant order on the market. Select the currency pair of your choice by clicking on the ‘Window’ tab at the top of the MT4 platform, and then select ‘New Window’. You can then click ‘New Order’ on the MT4 toolbar or press F9 to open an ‘Order’ window.
The screenshot below displays an ‘Order’ window for the EUR/USD currency pair. From this, you should be able to see how easy it is to buy and sell with MetaTrader 4. To trade at the market bid/offer, you would need to enter your desired trade size (in lots) in the ‘Volume’ box and then click ‘Sell or Buy’, with ‘Market Execution’ selected as the order type.
It is the ‘Market Execution’ setting that allows an instant order within MetaTrader 4. Of course, dealing at the market is not the only answer to the question of how to make a trade within MetaTrader 4. You can also choose to buy or sell using a limit or a stop order, by selecting your choice from the ‘Type’ dropdown. This is how to buy and sell on MetaTrader 4 at specific, desired levels away from the current market price, as opposed to executing immediately at the prevailing price.
Source: MetaTrader 4 platform – EUR/USD order screen
How to Enter a Short Position on MetaTrader 4
Going short (or short selling) on a market is simply selling when you do not have a long position. To do so, you would simply need to place a sell trade to open (as demonstrated in the screenshot image above).
How to Close a Trade in MetaTrader 4
How to place a trade with MetaTrader 4 is only part of the information that a trader needs, of course. Once you’ve opened a trade, there will eventually come a point when you want to close the trade. So how do I exit a trade in MetaTrader 4? Select the ‘Trade’ tab from the ‘Terminal’ window (press CTRL+T to summon or dismiss the ‘Terminal’ window). You will see any open trades you have displayed in the ‘Trade’ section of the ‘Terminal’ window. Right-click on the order you wish to close and select ‘Close Order’.
This opens an ‘Order’ window. Click the yellow ‘Close’ button to close your trade. So if you have two positions or more open in MetaTrader 4, and are wondering how to close one, this manual method is the way to do it, as you are specifying which individual trade you wish to exit. This manual method is not the only answer for how to exit a trade in MetaTrader 4 though. You can also close using a stop or limit order.
How to Set a Stop-Loss in MetaTrader 4
As you can see from the ‘Order’ window (shown in the screenshot still below), there are fields provided for you to enter a ‘ Stop Loss’ level and a ‘Take Profit’ level. If you click on either the up or down arrow in the ‘Stop Loss’ field, the box will automatically populate with the current market price (the platform uses the bid price). On the tick chart on the left you can see how your proposed stop level relates to the current bid and offer prices.
Source: MetaTrader 4 platform – EUR/USD order window
How to Place a Limit Order in MetaTrader 4
To place a limit order to close a position, you simply enter a target price level in the ‘Take Profit’ field shown in the ‘Order’ window (as demonstrated above). You can also use a limit order to open a position. To do this, you need to change the ‘Type’ field from ‘Market Execution’ to ‘Pending Order’. You can then choose ‘Buy Limit’ or ‘Sell Limit’ from the ‘Pending Order Type’ dropdown menu as required.
How to Set Orders by Pips as Default in MetaTrader 4
If you add a stop-loss or a take-profit order when you open a trade, the default functionality is for the order levels to be expressed in absolute market levels. Once you have added a stop or a limit order in this way, you can then go to the ‘Trade’ tab in the ‘Terminal’ window (CTRL+T to open or close this window) and right-click on the trade you are interested in and choose ‘Modify’ or ‘Delete Order’.
This opens an ‘Order’ window that will now allow you to amend your order levels in terms of point (not pips) away from the current market price. In order to modify the behaviour in MT4 to allow you to specify stop and limit orders as pips as a default, you would need to run a script or an EA (Expert Advisor) to modify the platform’s functionality.
How to Change the Volume of a Trade in MetaTrader 4
In MetaTrader 4, the volume of a trade refers to the size of the trade in terms of the number of lots. As we discussed above, when you open a trade, you need to specify a value in the ‘Volume’ field of the ‘Order’ window. Once you have opened a trade in a certain market, you can add to the volume (or the position size) by opening a further position in the same direction on the same market (obviously at a new price), or you can reduce the volume by part-closing your position.
Source: MetaTrader 4 – Changing the volume of a trade
How to Trade Company Stocks in MetaTrader 4
Trading CFDs on shares with MT4 is little different to trading Forex. An easy way to see a list of share CFD prices in MT4 is to open the ‘Market Watch’ window (CTRL+M to open and close). From that list, if you want to open a price chart, simply right-click on the ‘Symbol’ that you’re interested in and select ‘Chart Window’.
Alternatively, you can click on ‘Window’ at the top of the MT4 platform and select ‘New Window’ and then Share CFDs. This will give you a list of shares that you can trade. When you have the share of your choice in a chart window, just click on ‘New Order’ on the toolbar in order to open an ‘Order’ window. From there, it’s just a matter of simply choosing your trade size and choosing whether to deal at market or work a limit or stop order.
If you do not see the share that you are interested in displayed within the ‘Market Watch’ window, then you need to know how to add stocks to MetaTrader 4. This is simple – just use the shortcut CTRL+U and look for the Share CFDs folders in the navigation tree. Let’s suppose that you want to add the German company Allianz. You would expand Share CFDs (EU) and then select #ALV (Allianz SE).
To add to the list displayed in ‘Market Watch’, you would just have to click ‘Show’ and then ‘Close’. The desired price would now appear as the last listed item in the ‘Market Watch’ window, and that is how to add CFDs to MetaTrader 4.
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How to Add Indices to MetaTrader 4
Open the ‘Market Watch’ window (shortcut CTRL+M). Right-click within the window and select ‘Symbols’ (you can also jump directly to this using the shortcut CTRL+U). Look for the folders in the navigation tree called ‘Cash Indices’. Expand them to reveal the available stock index CFDs.
If you would like to add one to your ‘Market Watch’ window, simply select it and then click ‘Show’. Click ‘Close’ when you have finished with the ‘Symbols’ window, and your new instrument should appear at the bottom of the ‘Market Watch’ window.
How to Add Commodities to MetaTrader 4
Adding commodities to MT4 is very similar to the process described above for CFDs on shares and indices. Let’s say that you want to know how to add Gold and Silver to MetaTrader 4. Use the shortcut CTRL+U to open the ‘Symbols’ window. Look for the ‘Spot Metals’ folders. Expanding the ‘Spot Metals 1’ folder reveals ‘GOLD’ and ‘SILVER’.
Select whichever one you want to add and then click ‘Show’ and ‘Close’. The specified instrument will now appear at the bottom of the price list in the ‘Market Watch’ window (press CTRL+M to open and close the ‘Market Watch’ window). If in doubt, right-click on the ‘Market Watch’ window and select ‘Show All’, which will display all available instruments.
How to Add Currency Pairs in MetaTrader 4
Just as described above, if there is a particular currency pair that you want to trade, but cannot see in ‘Market Watch’, you can use the shortcut ‘CTRL+U’ to open the ‘Symbols’ window and look through the navigation tree for any currency pairs that you would like to add. To add a pair, simply click on the symbol and click ‘Show’. Alternatively, to display all instruments available for trading, right-click in the ‘Market Watch’ window and select ‘Show All’.
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How to Navigate In MetaTrader 4
How to Show Terminal in MetaTrader 4
You can open or close the ‘Terminal’ window using the shortcut ‘CTRL+T’.
How to Show Trade History in MetaTrader 4
You can view trade history in MT4 via the ‘Terminal’ window, which you can open and close using the shortcut ‘CTRL+T’. In the ‘Terminal’ window, click on the ‘Account History’ tab. Right-click anywhere in this window and you will see a menu providing you with a choice of options, including ‘All History’, ‘Last 3 Months’, and ‘Last Month’. You can also choose to save a ‘Detailed Report’.
This includes all the trading information you might need, such as prize, size, MetaTrader 4 trade execution time, and profit/loss. If you want to know how to print your account history within MetaTrader 4, simply choose ‘Save as Report’ or ‘Save as Detailed Report’. This will save the report as a ‘HTML’ file. If you open the file, it will open in your web browser. In your web browser, click the ‘Edit’ tab and choose ‘Select All’ (or use the shortcut CTRL+A).
Once you have selected all, right-click and choose ‘Copy’. Now, open a word processing application, such as Microsoft Word or Google Docs, and paste the copied data. You can then format the account balance data as you desire, and you can then print using the application’s print function.
How to Show Trading History on a Chart in MetaTrader 4
It’s simple to display a trade from your account history directly on a chart in MT4. Open the ‘Terminal’ window (CTRL+T to open and close) and select the ‘Account History’ tab. Click on a trade in the window and drag it to a chart window. The chart will now display the instrument of the trade, and the opening and closing levels will be marked on the chart with small arrows, joined by a dashed line. If you hold the cursor over the arrows, the trade information will appear as hover text.
How to View Open Trades in MetaTrader 4
As with above, you can view open trades by using the ‘Terminal’ window. You can see your open trades by clicking on the ‘Trade’ tab.
How to Check How Much Money I Have with MetaTrader 4
To check the balance of your trading account, open the ‘Terminal’ window (CTRL+T to open and close) and select the ‘Trade’ tab. You will be able to see your ‘Balance’ displayed along with ‘Equity’ and your amount of ‘Free Margin’.
Source: MetaTrader 4 – Checking your balance
How to Withdraw Money from MetaTrader 4
Withdrawing money from MT4 is simple, and takes just a few easy steps, using Trader’s Room:
- Log in to your Trader’s Room
- Go to ‘Money Operation’ and click ‘Withdraw Funds’
- Select the withdrawal option and then fill in your details
How to Change the Colour of Trade Levels in MetaTrader 4
As a default setting, MT4 will display levels on a price chart for any open trades you have in a position. The defaults are a green dotted line for entry level, and a red dotted line for both a stop-loss level and a limit (take-profit) level. Changing the colour of trade levels is the same process as customising any other colours in MT4 – in other words, it is completed by accessing ‘Properties’.
To do this, right-click on your price chart and select ‘Properties’ (or use F8 as a shortcut). From here, you can customise the colour of the stop levels. You can also choose to turn these order level lines off entirely. To do this, choose ‘Tools’ from the menu bar at the top of the platform and then select ‘Options’. In the ‘Options’ window, uncheck ‘Show’ trade levels if you wish to switch this function off.
How to Change Chart Background in MetaTrader 4
Once again, this is controlled from the ‘Properties’ section in MT4. Press F8 to open ‘Properties’ and ensure you have the ‘Colors’ tab selected. The first item on the list is the background colour. Just click on the dropdown menu and make your choice.
How to Install MetaTrader 4 Indicators
MT4 comes bundled with a large number of core trading indicators. You can see these listed in the ‘Indicators’ folder in the ‘Navigator’ window. You can expand the number of indicators available in your trading platform by installing custom indicators.
The easiest way to expand your list of indicators is by installing MetaTrader Supreme Edition. MTSE is a custom plugin for MetaTrader 4 and MetaTrader 5, developed by industry professionals, with a handpicked selection of additional indicators and trading tools that boosts the capabilities of your MetaTrader trading platform. You can also download individual custom indicators that other developers have coded within this platform. To download MetaTrader 4 Supreme Edition for FREE, click the banner below!
How to add a downloaded indicator in MetaTrader 4
Find the MT4 file that you have downloaded and copy it to your clipboard. Then, in MT4, go to ‘File’ and select ‘Open Data Folder’. From the resulting window, open the ‘MQL4’ folder and then the ‘Indicators’ folder. Paste your copied indicator into this folder. Then, restart MT4. The new custom indicator should now appear in your list of indicators in the ‘Navigator’.
How to Turn Off an Indicator in MetaTrader 4
To turn an indicator off, use the shortcut ‘CTRL+I’ to display your list of indicators. Select the indicator you want to turn off by clicking on it and then click on the ‘Delete’ button.
How to Find WMA in MetaTrader 4
A weighted moving average (or WMA) is a type of moving average and therefore can be found as part of the Moving Average Indicator in MT4. First, add the MA indicator to your chart by double-clicking on ‘Moving Average’ in the ‘Indicators’ folder of your ‘Navigator’. This opens a dialogue window in which you set the indicator’s parameters. ‘MA Method’ dictates which type of moving average you’ll be using. Selecting ‘Linear Weighted’ gives you a ‘Linear Weighted Moving Average’ (LWMA).
How to Add Templates to MetaTrader 4
It is very easy to customise the look of a chart in MT4. To do this, right-click on your chart, select ‘Properties’, and then click on the ‘Colors’ tab. From there, you can choose to customise the colours of the background, the foreground, your up and down candles, and so on. Having done so, you might like to save that look and feel for future use.
You do this by saving it as a template. Right-click on your chart again and this time, choose ‘Template’ and then ‘Save Template’. Once you have saved a template, it is very easy to add it to a new chart. To do so, simply right-click on your chart and choose ‘Template’ and then ‘Load Template’. You can read more about ‘Templates’ and ‘Profiles’ on the MQL4 Website.
Source: MetaTrader 4 – Adding templates to MetaTrader 4
How to Draw a Short Line in MetaTrader 4
Adding trendlines to charts can be a very useful tool. The default behaviour when you use the ‘Draw’ trendline tool (the button with the diagonal line on the toolbar) is to draw a line that extends all the way to the far right of the screen. There may be times, however, when you just want a shorter line instead. To do this you need to:
- Turn off your line’s ray behaviour
- Double-click on your trendline
- This puts the line into edit mode. Now that you have it in edit mode, right-click on the line and choose ‘Trendline’ properties.
- In the ‘Trendline’ window, select the ‘Parameters’ tab and uncheck ‘Ray’. Now, you will have short trendlines.
How to Make Trend Lines Permanent in MetaTrader 4
If you want a trendline on a certain currency pair pair to re-appear the next time you look at that pair, you’ll have to save your work as a template.
To do this, either click on ‘Chart’ from the menu bar at the top of the platform and then ‘Template’ and then ‘Save Template’, or right-click on your chart and from there choose ‘Template’ and then ‘Save Template’. If you close MT4 and find that you want your analysis lines again, all you have to do is go to ‘Template’ and this time, click on ‘Load Template’. Then, select whichever filename you saved your work under, and all your saved trendlines will re-appear.
How to Copy a Trade on MetaTrader 4
If you’re wondering how to trade on MetaTrader 4 on more than one account at the same time, replicating trades exactly on all of them, here is the answer. First of all, we need to look at how to use multiple accounts in MetaTrader 4. To do this, you need to install more than one version of the MT4 platform on your computer, assigning a different destination folder for each one.
You can then log into each individual account, using a differently located version of MT4 for each account. For copying trades, each account needs to be configured to allow automated trading and to allow linking to dynamic libraries. To do this, click on ‘Tools’ at the top of the platform and then select ‘Options’.
From the ‘Options’ window, choose the ‘Expert Advisors’ tab and check the boxes for ‘Allow Automated Trading’ and ‘Allow DLL imports’. The final stage is to install a trade-copying program for MT4. You will find many examples of MetaTrader 4 trade copy programs if you perform a search on the MQL5 Website. Using a copying Expert Advisor is therefore a method for how to link your existing account to another computer.
How to Make a Screen Larger on MetaTrader 4
There is only so much real-estate available on your screen to display the various windows you have open in MT4. Closing certain windows, therefore, will cause the remaining windows to enlarge. Closing the ‘Navigator’ window, for example, will cause a price chart to increase in size and take up the newly-available space. Press ‘CTRL+N’ in order to toggle the ‘Navigator’ window on and off. Similarly, you can use ‘CTRL+T’ to toggle the ‘Terminal’ window on and off.
How to Scale in on MetaTrader 4
You can zoom in and out on a chart using the + and – keys.
How to Scroll in MetaTrader 4
You can use the cursor keys to scroll left and right on a chart in MT4. The ‘Page Up’ and ‘Page Down’ keys will fast scroll to the left and right, respectively.
How to show pips in MetaTrader 4
You can monitor your running profit for your open trades by looking in the ‘Trade’ tab in the ‘Terminal’ window (CTRL+T to open and close the Terminal window). Profit is displayed in your deposit currency by default, but it is easy to switch this to display as pips instead. To do so, right-click in the ‘Trade’ window and select ‘Profit’. Then choose ‘Points’ instead of ‘Deposit’ currency. 10 points are equal to one pip with fractional pricing.
Source: MetaTrader 4 – How to show pips in MetaTrader 4
How to Set Alerts on MetaTrader 4
Choose the ‘Alerts’ tab from the ‘Terminal’ window (CTRL+T to open and close). Right-click anywhere in the ‘Alerts’ window and choose ‘Create’. You then need to fill in the criteria for the alert, such as, which market you wish to place the alert on, what ‘Value’ (that is, price); which ‘Condition’ to apply (such as if the Bid is less than a certain price, or if the Ask is less than a certain price, etc.) and when you wish the alert to expire.
How to Enable Email Alerts in MetaTrader 4
Use the ‘CTRL+O’ shortcut to open the ‘Options’ window and click on the ‘Email’ tab. You then need to fill in the fields to configure which email server and address is being used for relaying the email alerts to you and also to which email address you want to ultimately receive the alerts.
First, click ‘Enable’ and then fill in the various fields. You may find for the ‘SMTP’ (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol) configuration fields that it is worth creating a Gmail account for the sole purpose of relaying this messages on to your existing email account. Make sure to click ‘Test’ in order to check that it works before clicking OK.
Source: MetaTrader 4 platform – Enabling email alerts in MetaTrader 4
How to Update MetaTrader 4
MT4 should automatically update itself to the latest version whenever a new update is released by MetaQuotes, the software company behind the MetaTrader family of platforms. You can see which version of MetaTrader 4 you are running by clicking ‘Help’ at the top of the MT4 platform and then selecting ‘About’.
Source: MetaTrader 4 – Updating MetaTrader 4
How to Change Timezone in MetaTrader 4
The timezone used in MT4 is driven by the broker that you use. You cannot change it locally on your device. So the only real answer for how to change the time on MetaTrader 4 is to use a broker that uses a different timezone.
How to Select Your Server in MetaTrader 4
Select ‘File’ from the menu bar at the top of the MT4 platform and then ‘Login to Trade Account’. The resulting popup offers you a ‘Server’ option, from which you can specify a different server.
How to Mark the Days in MetaTrader 4
Using the hotkey combination ‘CTRL+Y’ to show (or hide) separators allows you to mark days clearly on your hourly MT4 charts. On a daily chart, the separators will mark the beginning of the month.
How to Restore MetaTrader 4 to Default
To restore a chart to its default settings, simply right-click on a chart and select ‘Properties’. From the ‘Properties’ window, choose the ‘Common’ tab and then click on the ‘Reset’ button at the bottom. If you wish to restore your whole platform to default condition, the ‘nuclear’ option is to re-install MT4 on your device.
How to Refresh MetaTrader 4
If you have MT4 open for a long time, sometimes, you may see gaps start to appear in chart data. You may be able to rectify this with a simple refresh – right-click on the chart and select ‘Refresh’ from the menu. Sometimes, you may have to go further and do a full manual reset of the chart data.
How to Reset MetaTrader 4
Press F2 to open the ‘History Center’ and then look through the directory for the instrument and time frame you wish to refresh. Double-click on the time frame and it will populate the window with data values. Select all the values by clicking in the first cell, holding the shift key, scrolling all the way to the bottom, and clicking on the final cell.
Click ‘Delete’ and all the values will disappear apart from one row. Click ‘Delete’ again to remove this final row. Your chart will now say ‘Waiting to Update’. If it it does not fully re-populate, try going to a different time frame and then back again. You may also have to right-click and choose ‘Refresh’. When the chart repopulates, it should remedy any gaps in your data.
Source: MetaTrader 4 – Refreshing MetaTrader 4
How to Find Your MetaTrader 4 Account Number
You can see the account number that you are logged in with by going to the ‘Navigator’ (CTRL+N to open and close). There should be an ‘Accounts’ folder in the ‘Navigator’, above the ‘Indicators’ folder. You can see the account number listed there.
How to Get a News Feed in MetaTrader 4
You can access the news feed in MetaTrader 4 via the ‘Terminal’ window. Use ‘CTRL+T’ to open or close the ‘Terminal’ window and then click on the ‘News’ tab.
How to Speed up MetaTrader 4
If you have many charts open that have been running for a long time, it can cause MT4 to run slowly if you do not have enough free RAM available on your device. One way to remedy this problem is to reduce how much data is displayed in each chart.
You can do this by clicking on ‘Tools’ on the menu bar at the top of the platform, and then selecting ‘Options’ (or use the shortcut of CTRL+O). In this window, reduce ‘Max’ bars in history and ‘Max’ bars in chart to smaller values. Regularly restarting MT4 will also help mitigate problems of slowness, as will closing down any Expert Advisors that you are not using.
How to Set Up an EA in MetaTrader 4
Expert Advisors or EAs perform automatic functions in MT4 as directed by their developer – you can think of them like trading and analysis robots. You can create an EA by opening the ‘MetaEditor’. The quickest way to do this is by pressing F4 (you can also right-click on Expert Advisors in MT4’s ‘Navigator’ and then by selecting ‘Create’ in ‘MetaEditor’, and there is also an icon on the toolbar for this specific purpose).
In the MetaEditor, click ‘New’ to launch the MQL4 Wizard, which will help guide you through creating a new Expert Advisor. You may find it easier to download and install an EA, rather than creating your own, however. The method for setting up an EA in MT4 is much the same as installing a custom indicator.
First, locate the file on your computer for the EA and copy it to your clipboard. In MT4, go to ‘File’ and select ‘Open Data Folder’. In the new window, open the MQL4 folder and then the ‘Experts’ folder. Paste your copied EA file into this folder. You will now have to restart MT4. The new EA should now appear in your list of Expert Advisors in the ‘Navigator’. Just click and drag to a chart to start using it.
How to Install Scripts in MetaTrader 4
If you have purchased a commercially-available script, be sure to read and follow any accompanying installation instructions. Generally speaking, adding a script is similar to installing an EA (as described above). Copy the file to your clipboard. Click on the ‘File’ tab, located at the top left of the MT4 platform, and then select ‘Open Data Folder’. Open the MQL4 folder and look for the ‘Scripts’ folder. Open the ‘Scripts’ folder and paste the copied file in there.
How to Program in MetaTrader 4
You can create programs for MetaTrader 4 using the MQL4 language. The best place to start if you would like to learn about coding for MT4 is the MQL4 Website.
How to Make an Artificial Neural Network for MetaTrader 4
If you are familiar with the concept of Artificial Neural Networks and have an aptitude with programming in the MQL4 language that MT4 uses, you have the skills required to create an artificial neural network with MT4. To do this, you will need to use the Fast Artificial Neural Network Library (FANN) to create a network of neurons, which you can train to understand market data and perform trading functions as part of an EA.
How to Use MetaTrader 4 – a Final Word
We hope you enjoyed this guide on how to use MetaTrader 4. Of course, the best way to get these tips and techniques to really sink in is to go ahead and try them out for yourself using MetaTrader 4. If you’re wondering how to play around with MetaTrader 4 without risking any money, the best way is with a demo trading account.
Every demo trade is completely risk-free, making it a perfect way to experiment with trading on the platform and to understand how MetaTrader 4 works. Once you have built up your confidence up through demo trades, and are ready to trade for real, you will need a live trading account.
How do you create a MetaTrader 4 live account? Read Admiral Markets’ ‘ Start Trading’ page to find out how simple it is. If you enjoyed this detailed list of tutorials on how to use MetaTrader 4, you might also like to explore MT4 shortcuts by checking out the MT4 Shortcuts Guide. Click the banner below to download MetaTrader 4 for FREE!
About Admiral Markets
Admiral Markets is a multi-award winning, globally regulated Forex and CFD broker, offering trading on over 8,000 financial instruments via the world’s most popular trading platforms: MetaTrader 4 and MetaTrader 5. Start trading today!
This material does not contain and should not be construed as containing investment advice, investment recommendations, an offer of or solicitation for any transactions in financial instruments. Please note that such trading analysis is not a reliable indicator for any current or future performance, as circumstances may change over time. Before making any investment decisions, you should seek advice from independent financial advisors to ensure you understand the risks.
How To Set Up MetaTrader Forex Charting Platform
MetaTrader Forex Trading Tutorial: Setting up MetaTrader 4 for price action trading charts.
This lesson is going to provide you with a tutorial of the basics of using the MetaTrader trading platform . MetaTrader 4 (MT4) is the most popular Forex trading platform and forex charting software in the world. I personally trade on this platform and I recommend my readers & members use it too.
As anyone who has followed me for a while knows, I trade and recommend New York close 5-day per week charts. The reason is that closing prices are the most important in the markets, and the New York close marks the end of the current Forex trading day and then the new day starts in Asia. As the New York session is the most traded session behind London, it’s important to see who won the battle between the bulls and bears at the New York close and as the current Forex trading day ends. You can download the correct 5-day New York close charts for free via this link: New York Close Forex Charts Download.
This tutorial is going to show you how to setup the MT4 platform for optimal price action trading, thus we won’t be discussing any of the automated “robot trading” / expert advisor functions of the platform as they are not a part of the price action trading strategies that I trade and teach.
After you read today’s lesson let me know if it helped you, if you learned anything new about the MetaTrader platfom, or if you would like me to add any explanations to this tutorial next week… you can contact me here.
Navigating the MetaTrader platform: The main windows
Below is a screen shot of approximately what your MetaTrader platform will look like when you first open it up. Your charts will probably be black and green however, with a bunch of indicators all over them. We will discuss how to get your charts setup with a white background for clean price action forex trading in the next section.
For now, let’s cover the main functions of each window you see in the image below:
1) The first window at the very top is the “Toolbars” window, here you’ll find many different icons that allow you to do many different things, we will cover most of these icons later on, for now just be aware of the toolbar window and that it is full of different tools and shortcuts for you to use.
2) The next window is the “Chart” window, this is obviously where you will see the current chart(s) you have open.
3) Next, see the “Market Watch” window on the upper left hand side of the screen. The market watch window lists all the markets available from your broker and gives you their real-time bid and ask prices. Note: to unlock all markets offered by your broker, simply right click within the market watch window and then select the “show all” option.
There’s a “tick chart” tab at the bottom of the market watch window, click on it and you’ll see the current price activity of the pair you have selected in the market watch window, tick by tick,…I don’t really use this but thought I’d just tell you what it’s for real quick.
To see which currency pairs I prefer to trade as well as an example of how you might want to populate your market watch window, check out my article on the best forex pairs to trade.
– Below we can see the main windows of the MetaTrader platform:
4) Below the market watch window is the “Navigator” window. In this window you can see your account(s), as well as a variety of indicators, expert advisors and scripts…both of which you can and should ignore. To learn why I don’t use many indicators or trade with expert advisors, check out this article on forex indicators, and this one on forex robots.
5) Finally, the terminal window appears at the bottom of the screen and within it you’ll find these six tabs: Trade, Account History, News, Alerts, Mailbox, and Journal. You can go through each tab to get familiar with what it does. The “trade” tab is the most important as this is where your pending and open trades can be viewed. The “account history” tab contains all your account activity since you opened it, primarily deposits, withdrawals, and closed trades. You can also generate detailed reports of your trading history here.
Setting up your charts for clean price action trading:
Next, we need to get our charts setup for optimal price action trading. You can customize your price charts in MetaTrader to reflect your own personal style and color preferences. I personally prefer a white background and black foreground for the cleanest and simplest approach. Here’s how to setup a clean white chart for optimal price action trading:
1) How to open a chart
There are three main ways to open a chart window on the platform. You can click on the “file” menu at the very top left of your screen and then click “new chart”, or you can right click in the market watch window on the specific currency pair you want the chart for and then select “chart window”. There’s also a “new chart” icon in the toolbar, see the image below:
2) How to set chart properties
Once you’ve got your desired chart open, you want to get it setup for clean price action trading. To do that, you just need to right click on the chart, and then select “properties” which is located at the bottom of the menu that appears, you’ll then see this box appear:
Now, as you can see in the “color scheme” window there is actually already a “black on white” theme that you can use. My personal settings look a little different though, you can see them here:
Note I have taken off the “grid” and “volume” functions.
The “common” tab located to the right of the “colors” tab in the window above, allows you to select or deselect certain features, such as volume, grid, period separators, and others. You can also change the chart to bar, candlestick or line chart in the common tab. It’s pretty self explanatory so play around with it a bit to get more familiar with the options.
3) How to save your chart setup as a template
Once you’ve adjusted your color scheme and other chart properties to how you want them, you have the option of saving your chart setup as a template, then you can easily apply the same properties to other charts. To save a template you can click on the “Template” icon in the toolbar and then select “save template”, or you can right click on the chart itself and then select “Template” and then “save template”. You can also click on the “Charts” menu at the very top of your platform and then select “Template”. See here:
I’ve also labeled a few other functions on the toolbar in the image above. We can see in the “chart type” box you can select bar, candlestick or line chart; we use forex candlestick charts in the members’ area. You can also see the function to zoom in and out of the current chart selected, as well as the time frame icon which goes from 1 minute chart up to monthly chart. I personally never look at a time frame under the 1 hour, and my trading course and community is focused on teaching time frames from the 1 hour and above, with the primary focus being on the daily chart time frame.
A cool tip about templates:
To quickly open a new chart with the current open chart’s template properties, simply select the market you want to see in the market watch window and then left click and slide it (drag it) over to the chart window containing the desired template. That new market will automatically open in the existing chart window with same template properties:
How to add moving averages and other analysis tools to you charts
I do implement the 8 and 21 daily chart exponential moving averages for trend analysis and to see dynamic support and resistance levels, note that I don’t use them in the traditional “indicator cross-over” sense. So let’s discuss how to put these EMAs on your charts.
The easiest way to do it is just to click the “Indicators” icon in the toolbar, then select “trend” then “moving average”:
You’ll then see this box appear:
You can also add indicators by going to “Insert” at the very top of the platform and then clicking on “indicators” then “trend” then “moving averages”, then the box above will appear.
You want the period set to either 8 or 21, depending on which EMA you are putting in at the time, then the “MA method” should be Exponential and “Apply to” close. You can pick whatever colors make you feel happy, just make sure the colors of the 8 and 21 contrast nicely so you can easily tell them apart, I use red for the 8 day EMA and blue for the 21 day EMA.
You can then save that particular chart setup with the EMAs as template. You can have a number of templates saved as you can see, then you can quickly go from one template to the next. I have one clean template setup (see above) with no EMAs and then one with the 8 and 21 day EMA. You can learn more about how I use the EMAs in my forex trading course. I do not use any moving averages on the 4 hour chart.
The other main analysis tools that I use are the horizontal line tool and the Fibonacci tool. They are pretty self explanatory, but with the Fibonacci tool I usually only have the 50% and 61.8% level as those are the only ones I look at. Simple right click on the Fibonacci tool after applying it to your charts and then you can change its properties.
How to setup my 4 primary time frames in one market profile
To quickly see the 1 hour, 4 hour, daily, and weekly time frame in one window, you can do this:
Open 4 new charts of the same currency pair and then use the time frame icon to set them to 1 hour, 4 hour, daily, and weekly. Now, go to the “Windows” menu at the top of the toolbar and select either “Tile horizontally” or “Tile Vertically”, they are both going to make your chart windows the same when you have 4 charts.
Now, once you get the 4 time frames setup, you can go to the “File” menu or click on the “Profiles” icon and save your current window arrangement as a profile.
Cool tip: If you want to you can save each market as its own profile and then quickly scroll from one profile to the next by clicking “ctrl + F5” at the same time, to see the previous profile press “ctrl + F6”. See here:
Quickly analyze multiple markets
You can have as many different chart windows open as you want in MetaTrader, and you’ll see at the bottom of the platform are tabs that allow you to quickly open a chart to analyze or edit it. You can open up a chart from the tabs at the bottom and then quickly change its time frame or template via the time frame and template icons in the toolbar that we’ve already discussed above. These tabs make it easy to get a quick view of many different markets and this is the primary method I use to scroll between markets on MT4.
Now you know the basics of the MetaTrader 4 trading platform and how to get it setup for clean price action trading. If you want more instruction on how I trade with price action on the MetaTrader platform, check out my price action trading course and members’ community. Remember you can download the free MT4 Forex Charting Platform Here.
Beginner’s Guide to MetaTrader 4 (MT4)
The most popular Forex Trading Platform in the world is MetaTrader 4 (MT4). This is a platform through which anyone can do Forex Trading or analyzing the financial market. This software was developed by MetaQuotes. This lesson will let you know about the basics of how to use the MetaTrader 4 (MT4) trading platform.
How to Install the MT4 Platform
To download the MetaTrader 4 platform, you can go straight to the article where we discuss the recommended brokers for price action traders and download a Free Demo platform. You can do that here:
A setup file (mt4setup) will be downloaded into your PC. Click on the mt4setup file to initiate the installation. You have to agree with their terms of this license agreement and then click next, as shown in the following figure:
When the installation is successfully completed, click the finish button to exit.
Now, click Next to open a demo account because without opening a demo account, you cannot operate this software.
Select New Demo Account from the drop down menu, and then click next.
After clicking Next, a new popup window will appear. Fill in the blanks. Select currency, account type, leverage, and deposit. Select the radio button “I agree to subscribe to your newsletters”, and then click Next.
Now, you will get a user ID and password. Keep your user ID and password in a safe place. Click Finish to log in.
How to change the password on the MT4 platform
To change the password on the MT4 platform, click on the “Tools” located on the toolbar. Now, a popup window will appear. You can easily change your MT4 password from here.
How to Navigate the MT4 Platform
The following is a screen shot of what your MT4 platform will look like when you first open it up. MT4 opens with four different currency pair chart windows like the EURUSD, GBPUSD, USDCHF, and USDJPY charts.
For the time being, let’s cover the primary elements of every window you find in the picture above:
- “Toolbars” is the first window located at the very top of the MT4 platform. In this window, you will find different icons to do different things. We have discussed these icons in the later part of this article.
- The next window of the MT4 platform is the “Chart” window. Here, you will see the running chart(s) you have open.
- Below the Chart window is the “Market Watch” window located at the top left corner of the MT4 platform. This window shows every pair (symbol) of the market available according to your broker, and shows you their current bid prices and asks prices. To see every symbol offered by your broker, just right click inside of the market watch window and click to “show all”. By pressing (Ctrl + m), you can easily hide / unhide the market watch window.
- The next window is the “Navigator” window. This window will show your username, indicators, expert advisors, and scripts. To hide / unhide the navigator window, press (Ctrl + n).
- At the bottom of the MT4 platform, you will see the “Terminal window” showing a few tabs within it: Trade, Exposure, Account History, News, Alerts, Mailbox, Market, Codebase, Experts, and Journal. You can click on every tab to get acquainted with what it means. But, the most important tab is the “Trade” where you can see the running and pending trades. The Account History tab shows your account activity like deposits, withdrawals, profit, or loss. You can find your full trading history from here. You can easily hide/unhide the terminal window by pressing (Ctrl + t).
How to setup your MT4 platform for clean price action trading
For a price action trading, we need to setup our MT4 platforms chart. According to your own personal style and color choices, you can customize your MT4 platforms chart. Personally, I like a white background with a black foreground. Here’s the way to setup a clean white chart for ideal price action trading:
How to open a chart
You can open a chart by three different ways:
A. Click on the File menu at the top left of the MT4, and then click “new chart”.
B. Right click on the specific currency pair you want to open in the “Market watch” segment, and then click “chart window”.
C. Just below the File menu bar, there is an icon named “new chart”. Click on that icon, and then select the specific currency pair you want to open.
How to set the properties of a chart
Open your desired chart, then right-click the chart and select properties. Now, you will see a popup window appear.
On the properties popup window, you will find a “color scheme”. By clicking on this color scheme, you can change the color of your chart. I have clicked on “Back on White” and my chart shows black and white candlesticks on a white background, as shown in the following figure:
After that, you can take off the “grid” and “volume” by right clicking the chart and un-selecting grid and volume.
There is a “common” tab located at the right side of the “colors” tab. Using this common tab, you can change certain features like volume, grid, ask line, period separators, auto scroll, etc. You can also change the chart from candlestick to the bar chart or line chart through this common tab.
How to save your chart as a template
If you want to save the chart according to your desired color scheme and other chart properties, you can easily do it by saving the chart as a template.
To do this, click on the “Template icon” located at the top right corner of the toolbar, and then save the template. There is another way to save the template. Right click on the chart, then select template, then click on “save template”.
You can change the chart type by using the “chart type icon” located in the toolbar. You can select candlestick, bar chart, or line chart – whatever you want. But, I suggest you to use candlestick chart for better understanding the Forex market. You can use the zoom-in/zoom-out icon to make the chart zoom in or out. To change the time frame of the chart from 1 minute to monthly, use the time frame icon located in the toolbar.
If you want to open a new chart with your existing template properties, you can easily do that. Open the new chart, right click on that chart, select template, then click on your previously saved template. Now, you will see your new chart having a new currency pair that will be converted to your previously saved template.
How to set up 4 different time frames of one currency pair
You can easily set up 4 different time frame charts of a single currency pair in the same screen. To do this, open 4 new charts having the same currency pair. Now, select each chart, and then click on the time frame icon gradually from 1 minute, 5 minutes, 15 minutes, and 1 hour. Now, click on “window”, which is located at the toolbar, and then click “Tile Windows”. You will see that MT4 will automatically set 4 different time frame charts of a single currency pair in the same screen.
How to analyze multiple markets quickly
If you want to analyze as many different chart windows as you want in the MT4 platform, you can easily do it by clicking on the tabs at the bottom of the MT4 platform showing currency pairs name. You can easily edit any chart by clicking on it, and then using the toolbars icon just like we have already discussed.
How to setup more than 4 charts in the same screen
To set up more than 4 charts of the same timeframe or different timeframes in the same screen, open all those charts, then click on “Window”, then click “Tile Vertically”. Now, you will see all of your charts in the same screen, as shown in the following picture:
How to Open a Trade
You can open an entry using one of the following ways:
- Using Market Watch Window: Double click on the desired pair or right click on the desired pair, and then click “new order”. Then, set your desired volume and click on sell or buy. You may set Stop Loss and Take Profit at this time if you want.
- Using an Active Chart: Right click on the active chart, then click on “trading”, and then “new order”. You can simply open an entry by clicking Sell / Buy located at the top left corner of the active chart, but to do this, you must set your desired volume first by pressing the arrow key or through the keyboard.
- Using the Toolbar: You can easily open an entry by clicking “new order” located on the toolbar.
- Using F9: There is a shortcut key in your keyboard (F9). You can open an entry by pressing F9.
How to Modify a Trade
To modify a trade, open the terminal (Ctrl + t), then double click on the trade you want to modify. Now, you will find a popup window. Select “modify order” from the drop-down menu located beside “type”. Now, you can modify your “stop loss” or “take profit”, and then click on “modify” row located at the bottom of the popup window.
How to Close a Trade
Just like the modify option, open the terminal, and then double click on the trade you want to close. Now, a popup window will open. Select “market execution” from the drop-down menu located beside “type”, and then click on “close” located at the bottom of the popup window.
How to Monitor Your Running Trade
You can monitor your running trade either through the chart or through the “Trade” section of the terminal. You can easily view your terminal through a shortcut (Ctrl + t) or by clicking on “View” on the toolbar, and then selecting terminal.
How to check Your Trading History
To check your trading history, you have to open your terminal (Ctrl + t), and then click on “Account History”. Here, you will find each of your closed trades showing, trade entry time, type (buy/sell), size (trade volume), symbol (currency pair), entry price, stop loss, take profit, trade closing time, closing price, commission (not applicable for every trading account), swap (if you carry your trade from one day to another day, you have to pay a little as a swap charge), and finally, profit / loss.
I hope now you can easily set up your MetaTrader 4 platform for a clean and clear price action trading. If you have any questions at all, please just post them in the comments section below or send me an email. You may be interested in the related lessons and articles of this post because I have added some related MT4 indicators and expert advisors that you can use now that you know how to use this really popular trading platform.
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