MetaTrader 4 is one of the most widely used and popular platforms for home broker trading. This application is perfect for Forex stock and commodity traders and can be downloaded for free from the official website of the platform developer – MetaQuotes Software Corporation. As a rule, a lot of brokers offer traders to use MetaTrader 4 as a basic platform for trading. In this case a link for downloading MetaTrader should be provided on the broker’s website. However, not always brokers prefer MetaTrader 4; some of them have their own platforms. In this case there are several servers on MetaTrader 4, from where you can access the data. The only difference between MetaTrader and broker is a rate of currency pairs. This won’t be a big problem and won’t have a significant impact on performance of trading, though.
First of all, download MetaTrader 4 from the official website of using links provided by brokers. After that you should install the software. When installation is finished, you can launch the program. If you see the MetaTrader 4 interface for the first time, it might seem too complex for you, but after spending some time on studying the platform, you will see, that everything is clear. There are divided windows, which give you simultaneous control over orders and different number of pairs. As a rule, there is the Market Watch feature in the top left corner under the menu bar. All information about currency pairs is located on the server. If you need some pair, you can get it by clicking on it or using drag-and-drop movement and this pair will appear in any chart window at your option. Therefore, the efficiency of your actions increases: you waste less time and get necessary information faster. This is very important for Forex trading, because every second counts here.
MetaTrader 4 templates are at your disposal. They help you to achieve better results, corresponding with your individual needs. Profiles can have one or multiple charts. For example, you can use three EUR/USD charts, every of which will have its own timeframe. Or here is another example: you can use three completely customizable different pair charts, when using personally chosen indicators. MetaTrader allows you to customize many elements of the platform (colors, templates, etc.). That is why MetaTrader 4 is one of the best trading platforms with the fullest set of features absent in other alternative platforms.
Almost all Forex traders are familiar with MetaTarder 4 or, at least, heard about it. There is high probability of that you will use MetaTarder 4 as a basic platform for trading. And this is not surprising: MetaTarder 4 is superior among other trading platforms, having the fullest set of features for successful Forex trading.
MetaTrader 4 – Traders Options
If you want to use a personal computer for trading stocks, commodities or Forex, you will need a special trading platform for performance of certain operations: providing information, executing trades, interfacing with broker, etc. This platform gives you specialized tools for making correct trading decisions.
It is very important to choose the right trading platform, because many of them are created to work only with individual brokers. Luckily for us, there are several alternatives. There are trading platforms, which were developed by independent companies. Therefore, such platforms are partnered with multiple brokers. MetaTrader 4 is the best trading platform presented on the market.
Advantages of MetaTrader 4
MetaTrader 4 has several important advantages, which place this platform above the others:
• MetaTrader 4 is absolutely free.
• It gives you rich opportunities for customization.
• You can use back testing for testing your strategies.
• You can practise using virtual money.
• MetaTrader 4 is one of the most powerful modern trading platforms.
• There are a lot of resources, which can be accessed online.
• More than 300 brokers support MetaTrader 4.
• Windows Phone powered devices support MetaTrader 4.
• You will receive necessary data for all major currency pairs in real-time mode.
MetaTrader -The Basics
First of all, open a demo or real account. Then you can download MetaTrader 4 and install the program on your computer. When installation is finished, you can create a chart and start trading.
For creating a chart you should open “File” dropdown menu and click on the “New Chart” item. You can also find the corresponding icon on the tool bar. Then you will see a list of currency pairs; select one in order to continue. Then you will see one hour (H1) chart (settings by default). If you want to see the chart in candlestick, click on the “Candlestick”.
If you click the right mouse button in any spot in the chart, the dropdown menu will appear. Select the “Properties” item. A list of settings will appear. You can change them as you want.
After that you can add some technical indicators and objects. When you finish, save your chart, using a a unique name. Selecting a unique name is very important, because otherwise the default name will be used to entitle the chart.
MetaTrader 4 has three main groups of toolbars. In order to make things simpler, they will be named “Windows”, “Charts” and “Objects”.
MetaTrader Windows Toolbar
•W1 This icon is called “New Chart”. As the title says, by pressing it you create new charts. When you click on the “New Chart” icon, a list of six major currency pairs appears. Pairs and additional pairs under MiniForex. There is different number of additional pairs for demo and real account. If you click on a pair, a new window with a chart will appear.
•W2 This icon is called “Profile”. As a rule, a Profile is a chart or several charts with different indicators and objects. When you load the MetaTrader 4 platform for the first time, you will see the default chart. If you make any changes, they will be saved in this default profile. Of course, you can save changes manually to a new profile. It should be noted that it is impossible to delete the Default Profile.
•W3 This icon is called “Market Watch”. If you click on this icon, you will see information about currency pairs, which are available at the moment, and also there will be a vertical window with bid and ask prices. For opening the “Order” window you should double click on a currency pair.
•W4 This icon is called “Data Window”. If you want to open this window, just click on the corresponding icon and you will see the window on the left. If you want to see the available data, then just move the mouse cursor to a candle in the chart.
•W5 This icon is called “Navigator”. After clicking on the “Navigator” icon a window with various scripts will appear to the left. You can select any of these scripts, which include expert advisor, indicators, account, custom indicators, etc.
•W6 This icon is called “Terminal”. If you click on this icon, you will see a window in the bottom of the MetaTrader 4 interface. There is different useful information in this window, including history of trade and account, news inbox, etc.
•W7 After clicking on this icon a window in the bottom of the MetaTrader 4 interface will appear. There will be testing for Expert Advisors in this window.
•W8 This icon is called “New Order”. As the title says, by clicking on it the Order window will appear (hotkey F9). The currency pair will be the same as in the current active chart.
•W9 This icon is called “Meta Editor”. If you click on this icon, you will see a window with editing parameters for scripts, Expert Advisors and custom indicators. It should be noted that there is lot of technical parameters in this window, and it is highly recommended that inexperienced users do not make any changes here. This window is for programmers only.
•W10 This icon is called “Expert Advisor”. If you click on this icon, you can either enable or disable the Expert Advisors.
MetaTrader Charts Toolbar
•C1 This icon is called “Bar Chart”.
•C2 This icon is called “Candlestick Chart”.
•C3 This icon is called “Line Chart”. If you click on this icon, you can change type of the active chart.
•C4 This icon is called “Zoom In”. As the title says, it is used for zooming into a chart (maximum 5x zoom).
•C5 This icon is called “Zoom Out”. As the title says, it is used for zooming out of a chart (maximum 5x zoom).
•C6 This icon is called “Auto Scroll”. After activating this icon the latest bar will be constantly displayed on the screen. After deactivating this icon older bars will be displayed.
•C7 This icon is called “Chart Shift”. As the title says, it is used for shifting the label of the chart (a small gray triangle in the upper corner of the window).
•C8 This icon is called “Indicators”. You can choose indicators right from this icon without necessity of opening the “Navigator” window.
•C9 This icon is called “Periods”. By clicking on this icon you can set the desired period of an active chart. It can be a period from 1 minute (M1) to monthly (MN) period. There is the other way for selecting periods: the Period Toolbar.
•C10 This icon is called “Templates”. By clicking on this icon you can delete, save or load templates in accordance with your needs.
MetaTrader Object Toolbar
•O1 This icon is called “Cursor”. By clicking on this icon you can activate a standard arrow, which can be used for selecting items by default.
•O2 This icon is called “Crosshair”. Here is how you should use this element:
a) Activate the “Crosshair” icon and move a cursor to an active chart window.
b) Choose the initial position, press the left mouse button and hold it while moving the cursor to the final position.
c) You will see a line between the initial and the final positions.
d) The following data will be displayed on the screen: numbers of pipes or number of bars or price.
e) When you no longer need the displayed information, just release the mouse button.
•O3 This icon is called “Vertical Line”. Here is how you should use this element:
a) Select tool and position for this tool.
b) Place the tool at this position.
c) If you want to change anything, use double-click.
d) Line and handles will be selected, and two small white squares will appear.
e) For opening line properties you should right click near it.
f) Make necessary changes.
g) If you want to remove handles, use double-click.
•O4 This icon is called “Horizontal Line”. The “Horizontal Line” has the same functions as the “Vertical Line”. The only difference is in its horizontal placement. The “Horizontal Line” is used for drawing Support and Resistance levels.
•O5 This icon is called “Trendline”. If you want to draw or slant a trend line, you should use “Trendline”. Here is how you should use this element:
a) Select a tool and position for this tool.
b) Place the tool at this initial position.
c) Press the left mouse button and hold it while moving the cursor to the final position.
d) The Trendline will snap to the nearest point.
e) If you want to check if you selected the right points, use double-click.
f) 3 handles will appear: two at the ends of the line and one in the middle.
g) The handle in the middle is used for moving the line. Other two handles are joined to the candles.
h) Then you can move the handles at the ends. These handles are automatically attached at the ends of a candle.
•O6 This icon is called “Equidistant Channels”. This element is almost the same as the previous one, but there is one difference: there is the second line, which is placed parallel to the first one. Here is how you should manage this element:
a) If you want to see the handles, use double-click.
b) 3 handles will appear for the first line (two at the ends of the line and one in the middle) and one handle for the second line.
c) Click on the handle, hold the left mouse button and drag it for snapping to the desired point.
d) In this case a new channel will be created.
•O7 This icon is called “Fibonacci Retracement”. Here is how you should use this element:
a) Click on the “Fibonacci Retracement” tool for selecting the initial position.
b) Press the left mouse button and hold it while moving the cursor to the final position.
c) After that you will see Fibonacci Retracement lines, which will snap into position.
d) If you want to see the handles, select the main line.
e) 3 handles will appear. You can use them in the same way as in the case of the “Trendline” tool.
•O8 This icon is called “Text”. If you want to write some text in any place of an active chart, you can use this element.
•O9 This icon is called “Text Label”. If you want to place a label in any place of an active window, you can use this element.
•O10 This icon is called “Arrows”. If you want to inset some graphical signs (arrows, etc.) into charts, you can use this element.
MetaTrader. Open or Close a Position
In order to open the “Order” window you should do the following:
1. Open the “Terminal” window and right click on the “Trade” or “Market Watch” tab. After that a context menu will appear, from where you should select the “New order” item.
2. Open the “Chart” window, right click on it for opening a context menu, and select Trading -> New Order.
•Symbol – A currency pair
•Volume – Number of lots
•Stop Loss – The level of Stop Loss order
•Take Profit – The level of Take Profit order
•Comment – Notes
When you have pressed “Buy” or “Sell” button, the deal is considered to be confirmed by the broker. Now your position is opened no matter if it is long or short.
In order to close a position you should open the “Terminal” window and select your position in the “Trade” tab. Right click on the position for opening a context menu and click on the “Close Order” item.
There is another way for closing a position: you just need to open the “Terminal” window and double click on the position you want to close in the “Trade” tab.
MetaTrader. Stop Loss & Take Profit Orders
“Stop Loss” is an order which closes a position, if a price is less profitable than it was in the moment of placing the order.
“Take Profit” is an order which closes a position, if a price is more profitable than it was in the moment of placing the order.
Both “Take Profit” and “Stop Loss” orders are placed without any actions from the trader’s side, i.e. they are executed automatically at a definite order level. You can set these parameters in the “Order” window.
If you want to change value of “Take Profit” and “Stop Loss”, open the “Terminal” window and right click on a pending order or an open position. A context menu will appear, from where you should select the “Modify or delete order” item.
MetaTrader. Trailing Stop
If a “Trailing Stop” has been placed, the following will occur:
• The open position should bring profit (minimal amount – 15 pips), and only after that the “Stop Loss” order will be placed. In this case a command will be sent by MetaTrader 4 for placing the “Stop Loss” order 15 pips higher or lower in comparison with the current price.
• In case the interval between order level and the current price is more than 15 pips, the “Stop Loss” order” will be changed by MetaTrader 4 so that its level is 15 pips higher or lower in comparison with the current price. Therefore, the “Stop Loss” order and the current price will be closer.
Installing Expert Advisors
Professional expert advisor
Sometimes MetaTrader 4 trading robots have integrated installation packages, so they are installed automatically without need to do anything manually. But there are some bots, which do not have installation packages, so you have to install them manually. However, the process of installation of these bots is very easy: all you need to do is to place some files in the right folders on your personal computer.
Expert Advisor Installation
1. Download “Expert Advisor”. Select a location on your hard drive and start downloading process. Please, make sure that the file you’ve downloaded is not archived. If it is a zipped file, first of all, unzip the contents and place it to the correct directory.
2. If you have OS Windows Vista or Windows 7, you don’t have to download and install some third party software for unzipping the file with “Expert Advisor”. In case you are using Windows XP, 2000, or earlier version of this operating system, please, download and install any zip program. There are a lot of free zip programs, for example, “jZip”.
3. When downloading process is finished, the next step will be integration of “Expert Advisor” with MetaTrader4 program. In order to able to continue you will have to create a real or demo account. If you have an account, you can continue the process of installation.
4. The “Export Advisor” has the extension .ex4 or .mq4. Copy this file, but do not mix up the file with the folder. Right click on the file and select the “Copy” item from the context menu. Another option is to select the file and press the “Ctrl+C” combination.
5. Open “My Computer”, next “Drive C”, then find the “Program files” folder and open it. There should be the folder named “MetaTrader” or any other folder with similar name. It also may be named FxOpen-Metatrader, etc. When you find the folder with your MetaTrader4 platform, open this folder and find there the folder named “experts”. Open this folder, too.
6. Next you should paste the “Expert Advisor” file in the folder. You can do it by pressing the “Ctrl+V” combination. Another option is to right click in the free space of the “experts” folder for calling the context menu and to select the “Paste” item.
7. You should close MetaTrader platform in order to allow the changes to take effect. After that open the platform and make sure that “Expert Advisor” is installed properly and working fine. Open View -> Navigator and in case the process of installation ended properly, “Expert Advisor” will show up.
Activating Expert Advisors
The process of activation of “Expert Advisor” is very simple. Here are the necessary steps:
• Open the “Tools” menu.
• Open “Options”.
• Go to the “Expert Advisors” tab.
• Tick off the items “enable the expert advisor” and “allow live trading”.
• In case of presence of DLL file tick off the item “allow dll import”.
• In case of presence of external experts or indicators tick off the item “allow external experts import”.
Using the Metatrader Strategy Tester
If you want to make sure that your strategy or function works fine, you can test them using the “Strategy Tester”.
In order to test a strategy you should do the following:
• Open menu and select View -> Strategy Tester.
• Choose the Expert Advisor to be tested.
• Choose the parameters of the Expert Advisor (use the “Expert Properties” button).
• Choose the currency pair for the test.
• Select the currency pair for the test.
• Select the timeframe.
• Choose the “Model”. It should be noted that the quickest way is to select “Control Points”, but the “Every tick” allows you to achieve the best quality of modeling.
• Use “Optimization” for setting the best parameters for the Expert Advisor.
• Use “Visualization” for following positions taken by EA.
• Use “Use Date” for presenting testing period. In case of absence of testing period all available data will be taken by the “Strategy tester”.
There are three worksheets, where you can find all results of testing: Report, Graph or Results. Each of worksheets shows you different kind of information.
The test result will be seen in the worksheet Results, Graph or Report, each presenting the information in different ways.
MetaTrader Hot Keys
The MetaTrader 4 platform allows you to use a lot of useful hotkeys, which ease the work with the platform. Here is the list of all MetaTrader 4 hotkeys:
The left arrow key (←) – used for scrolling the chart to the left
The right arrow key (→) – used for scrolling the chart to the right
The up arrow key (↑) – used for quick scrolling to the left; in case the scale is defined, this key is used for scrolling up
The down arrow key (↓) – used for quick scrolling to the right; in case the scale is defined, this key is used for scrolling down
The “Numpad 5” key – when you make changes in the vertical scale of automatic chart, this key allows you to restore it; in case the scale is defined, you can use the “Numpad 5” key to show the chart
The “Page Up” key – used for quick scrolling to the left
The “Page Down” key – used for quick scrolling to the right
The “Home” key – allows you to open the initial point of the chart
The “End” key – allows you to open the end point of the chart
The “-” key – used for zooming out
The “+” key – used for zooming in
The “Delete” key – used for deleting objects
The “Backspace” key – used for deleting recent objects, which were placed in the chart window
The “Enter” key – used for opening or closing the “Navigator” window
The “Esc” key – used for closing the dialog window
The “F1” key – used for opening the user guide
The “F2” key – used for opening the “History left” window
The “F3” key – used for opening the “Global Variables” window
The “F4” key – used for downloading MetaEditor
The “F5” key – used for changing profiles
The “F6” key – used for opening the “Tester” window, where you can perform test of EA of the current chart
The “F7” key – used for opening the “Properties” window of EA of the current chart; then you can make necessary changes
The “F8” key – used for opening the “Chart Setup” window
The “F9” key – used for opening the “New Order” window
The “F10” key – used for opening the “Popup prices” window
The “F11” key – allows you to activate/deactivate the full-screen mode
The “F12” key – used for moving the chart by one bar to the left
The “Shift+F12” combination – used for moving the chart by one bar to the right
The “Shift+F5” combination – used for opening the previous profile
The “Alt+1” combination – represents the bar chart
The “Alt+2” combination – represents the candlesticks chart
The “Alt+3” combination – represents the broken line chart
The “Alt+A” combination – used for copying the results of testing and optimization
The “Alt+W” combination – used for opening the chart managing window
The “Alt+F4” combination – used for closing the client terminal
The “Alt+Backspace” or “Ctrl+Z” combination – used for cancelling deletion of an object
The “Ctrl+A” combination – used for applying default height to all indicator windows
The “Ctrl+B” combination – used for opening the “Objects List” window
The “Ctrl+C” or “Ctrl+Insert” combination – used for copying
The “Ctrl+E” combination – used for activating or deactivating expert advisor
The “Ctrl+F” combination – used for enabling “Crosshair”
The “Ctrl+G” combination – used for opening/closing grid
The “Ctrl+H” combination – used for opening/closing OHLC line
The “Ctrl+I” combination – used for opening the “Indicators List” window
The “Ctrl+L” combination – used for opening/closing volumes
The “Ctrl+P” combination – used for printing the chart
The “Ctrl+S” combination – used for saving the chart; there are the following file extensions: CSV, PRN, HTM
The “Ctrl+W” or “Ctrl+F4” combination – used for closing the chart window
The “Ctrl+Y” combination – used for opening/closing period separators
The “Ctrl+Z” or “Alt+Backspace” combination – used for cancelling deletion of an object
The “Ctrl+D” combination – used for opening/closing the “Data” window
The “Ctrl+M” combination – used for opening/closing the “Market Watch” window
The “Ctrl+N” combination – used for opening/closing the “Navigator” window
The “Ctrl+O” combination – used for opening/closing the “Setup” window
The “Ctrl+R” combination – used for opening/closing the “Tester” window
The “Ctrl+T” combination – used for opening/closing the “Terminal” window
The “Ctrl+F6” combination – used for opening the following chart window
The “Ctrl+F9” combination – used for opening the “Terminal — Trade” window; when the window is opened, you can use the keyboard for controlling the trading activities
Some Tips & Pointers
1. The “End” button allows you to reach the end of the opened chart
2. In case you need to reset a price scale to Auto, it can be done by double click in any place on this price scale.
3. To find a chart scale, the length of the dotted-line period separators for the Pivots program is 20 pips Cable or equivalent to the other currency pair.
4. If you need to extend a line, but do not want to change its position, i.e. do not want to move it, do the following: highlight the line, after that press the “Shift” button and hold it, then click on an end point and drag it up to the necessary length.
5. If you need to copy a line, do the following: highlight the line, after that press the “Ctrl” button and hold it, then click on the line and drag it to the necessary place. The original line will be completely copied, i.e. its color, attributes, thickness and other parameters will be given to the replicated line.
6. If you need to delete some indicators from every single chart, you should do the following: first of all, open the “Navigator” window, and then open the custom indicators folder. Next call context menu by clicking the right mouse button on necessary indicators and select the “Delete” item. You should restart MetaTrader platform in order to allow the changes to take effect.
7. If you need to attach indicators to charts, you should do the following: first of all, open the “Navigator” window, and then open the custom indicators folder. For attaching indicators to the desired charts you should select and drag them to each chart window.
8. If you need to speed up the MetaTrader 4 platform, you should do the following: open tools -> options, after that open charts tab. There you should lower the maximum bars. In order to do it, input necessary values for History and Charts.
9. If you need to delete anomalous spike of data, you should do the following: open tools -> history (the “F2” hotkey), and then select the relevant currency pair and time period. Find necessary date and time, select them and delete. If you want the changes to last, do not refresh the chart. All changes will be canceled only after refresh.