10 Useful Tips and Tricks for Using MetaTrader 4

April 26, 2013 02:07 AM

When it comes to choosing a trading platform, MetaTrader 4 can be pretty much do it all; It’s got good charts, loads of indicators, has automated trading functionality and even allows the testing of trading systems and EA’s.

However, with so many features on offer it can sometimes get a bit confusing for beginners. So here are 10 tips designed to help!

Keyboard shortcuts

There are plenty of keyboard shortcuts available for MetaTrader 4 that speed things up no end. Here are the most useful ones:

Arrow keys – Use to scroll through the chart window

Home – Move the chart to the first bar

End – Move the chart to the current bar

Backspace – Delete most recent drawing

F4 – Open MetaEditor

F9 – Open ‘New Order’ window

F10 – Open ‘Pop-up Prices’ window

F11 – Enable full screen mode

Alt + 2 – Display candlesticks charts

Ctrl + A – Arrange all indicator window heights by default

Ctrl + N – Open ‘Navigator’ window


MetaTrader 4

MetaTrader 4 window

How to Add an EA

To add a custom made indicator or expert advisor to the platform, first copy the source code and activate the MetaEditor by pressing F4. Then, open the expert advisor wizard and click the relevant field, custom indicator or EA. Click next, give the indicator or EA a name and then click finish. Finally, click your left mouse button in the screen window, select the whole code and then paste it. Save it by pressing F5.


How to Set Up a Template

Templates are useful for those times when you have set up a chart with all your favorite settings but then end up making a mess of it and don’t know how to get it back. Often, instead of working out how to reverse the changes, it can be simpler to load up a saved version of the chart itself, as it was before. This can be done by saving a template of your chart first. Simply open up a chart then press F8 to open settings and save the chart in the templates menu with a memorable name. Now you can reload the template at any time from the charts menu.


How to Save a Profile

Just like a template saves the layout of a chart, it is also possible to save groups of charts and windows so that your screen layout stays the same whenever you open the program. By clicking on the ‘Profiles’ icon and selecting ‘Save Profile As’, you can save the current layout as it appears on the screen. This way, you can save lots of different profile layouts for individual users. Simply re-select a profile by going to the ‘Profiles’ icon again and selecting from the drop down menu.


How to Add to Favorites

If you have a certain number of indicators, EA’s or scripts that you constantly use and need easy access to, you can set them up as favorites and call them up whenever needed. Simply hover over the indicator or script you want to add with your mouse, right click and then choose ‘Add to Favorites’. 


How to Add Trend Lines to a Chart

Trend lines are often used by traders to show the current direction of the trend and to indicate areas of support and resistance in the market. To add a trend line in MetaTrader 4, click the ‘Trendline’ icon then click and drag with the mouse. To make changes, double click on the area where the trend line is.

If you hold down the CTRL key whilst drawing the trend line, it will make it perfectly parallel and if you right click on the line you can then make changes to the color, style and other parameters.


How to Use Crosshair Mode and the Ruler Tool

The ruler tool in MetaTrader 4 can be useful for calculating the number of pips between two points in a chart. For example, if you want to measure how many pips away your stop loss is to your current trade. To access the ruler, first switch to crosshair mode by pressing CTRL+F. In crosshair mode you can now see all the price and date/ time coordinates at any point in the chart. Now, simply click the chart at the point where you want to measure from and, holding down the left mouse key, drag to where you want to complete the measurement. The ruler will appear and will form a line showing how many bars to the right or left of the cursor, the pip count, and the price at the point of the cursor.


How to See Your Account History

Sometimes it is useful to see your account history, although this is usually best done at the end of the day so as not to disturb your trading. To see details of all your trades, go to the ‘Terminal’ panel and select ‘Account History’. You can then click on any of the positions you are interested in and by dragging it into the main chart window you will then be able to analyze the entry, target, exit market data, and other points of interest.


How to Access the MQL4 Community

The MQL4 community is a place where newbies and experienced programmers alike come together to answer each other’s coding questions and is a great place to find free support for any of your programming problems.  As well as a forum, the community contains a website, book and code base – where examples of MQL4 code are frequently posted for traders to use free of charge. The community can be accessed via the MetaTrader platform by going to ‘Tools’, then ‘MetaQuotes Language Editor’, (or simply hit F4). Then navigate to ‘Help’ and click on the MQL4 Community drop down.

MetaTrader 4 window

How to Remove the Live News Feed

Some features of MetaTrader, although useful, can sometimes act to slow the software down. Features like the live news feed are especially bad for this but can be easily removed by following one simple step. Simply navigate to the ‘Tools’ menu, click ‘Options’ and then uncheck the box that says ‘’Enable News’’. This should help speed things up. If not, you could also consider turning off the symbols that you never trade for example SEKNOK.

MT4, trading, trend