MetaTrader 4 user guide

MetaTrader 4 user guide
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MetaTrader 4 (MT4) is one of the most popular trading platform in this world.  It was developed by MetaQuotes Software and released in 2005. Our MetaTrader 4 User Guide will get you up and running quickly!

Installation

  1. Download the MetaTrader 4 installer here.
  2. Execute the installer and click ‘Run’
    If Windows can’t verify the publisher, click ‘Proceed anyway’Security Warning
  3. Select the installation language and click ‘Next >’Choose installation language
  4. Click ‘Next >’Welcome Screen
  5. Tick the checkbox to accept the licence terms and click ‘Next >’
  6. Enter the installation directory and click ‘Next >’
    Installation Directory
  7. Select the program group and click ‘Next >’
    Program Group
  8. Click ‘Next >’ to begin the installation
    Start Installation
  9. Wait until the files have been copied
  10. Tick the checkbox and click ‘Finish’ to launch MetaTrader 4
  11. Fill in the form and click ‘Next >’ to open a demo account
    If you already have a demo account, click ‘Cancel’
  12. Choose a server and click ‘Next >’
  13. Record your demo account information and press ‘Finish’
  14. At this point, the MetaTrader 4 terminal will open and you can start trading

Online Forex quotations

The ‘Market Watch’ window contains a list of quotes, which are constantly updated. You can access the ‘Market Watch’ window by doing any of the following:

  • Press Ctrl+M
  • Select ‘Market Watch’ from the ‘View’ menu
  • Click the button on the ‘Standard’ toolbar

Each line in the ‘Market Watch’ window corresponds to a specific market instrument, and has the following fields.

Field Description
Symbol The symbol for the market instrument
Bid The current bid price
Ask The current ask price
Update Time The last time the quote was updated
Maximum The highest price so far in the day
Minimum The lowest price so far in the day

Chart types and how to build them

Charts let you track the price of market instruments and analyse this data using technical indicators and expert advisors. There are three different types of chart in MetaTrader:

  • Line charts
  • Bar charts
  • Candlestick charts

Line charts

Line charts show the closing prices in each trading interval; the prices are connected by straight lines. You can set the length of the trading interval in minutes, hours or days.

To open a line chart, do one of the following:

  • Press Alt+3
  • Press the  button in the ‘Charts’ toolbar
  • Select ‘Line Chart’ in the ‘Charts’ menu
  • Open the line chart from the ‘Chart Setup’ window

Bar Chart

Bar charts represent each trading interval as a vertical bar. The bar shows the following information:

  • Maximum price – the top of the bar
  • Minimum price – the bottom of the bar
  • Opening price – the horizontal line to the left of the bar
  • Closing price – the horizontal line to the right of the bar

With bar charts, you should use a trading interval of at least five minutes.

To open a bar chart, do one of the following:

  • Press Alt+1
  • Press the button in the ‘Charts’ toolbar
  • Select ‘Bar Chart’ in the ‘Charts’ menu
  • Open the bar chart from the ‘Chart Setup’ window

Candlesticks

Candlestick charts provide more information than bars charts. They show supply and demand, and reflect the balance between bears and bulls. Candlesticks contain the following:

  • A main rectangular body – this shows the opening and closing price
  • An upper line or wick – this shows the highest price
  • A lower line or wick – this shows the lowest price

The colour of the body provides further information:

  • The body is not filled in when the closing price is higher than the opening price
  • The body is filled in when the closing price is lower than the opening price

To open a candlestick chart, do one of the following:

  • Press Alt+2
  • Press the  button in the ‘Charts’ toolbar
  • Select ‘Candlesticks’ in the ‘Charts’ menu

Position Open and Close

Opening a position

To start trading, you need to open a position in a specific market instrument. There are two ways of doing this:

  • Create a market order – this is executed immediately
  • Create a pending order – this is executed once the price reaches a level that you specify

This section deals with market orders.

Opening an order

To place a market order, you first need to open a new order. You can do this in any of the following ways:

  • Select ‘New Order’ from the ‘Tools’ menu
  • Press F9
  • Double-click on the symbol you want in the ‘Market Watch’ window
  • Select ‘New Order’ from the ‘Market Watch’ window’s context menu
  • Select ‘New Order’ from the ‘Trade’ tab’s context menu in the ‘Terminal’ window
  • Press the ‘New Order’  button in the ‘Standard’ toolbar

'Order' Window

The ‘Order’ window has the parameters shown below.

Parameter Description Mandatory/Optional
Symbol The market instrument you want to trade. Mandatory
Volume The amount you want to trade – in lots. Mandatory
Stop Loss The price to close at if you’re making a loss. Note that this is the bid price for long positions and the ask price for short positions. A value of ‘0’ indicates no stop loss. Optional
Take Profit The price to close at if you’re making a profit. Note that this is the bid price for long positions and the ask price for short positions. A value of ‘0’ indicates no take profit. Optional
Comment Text up to 25 characters. You can’t change this once your order is placed, and we may modify or overwrite it. Optional
Type Set this to ‘Instant Execution’. Mandatory

Maximum deviation

Once you set the ‘Type’ to ‘Instant Execution’ the bottom panel of the window will contain additional parameters related to maximum deviation:

  • This is used if the price changes between the time you open the window and the time you place your order
  • We will reject your order and issue a new quote if the price difference is greater than the amount you specify
  • Tick the checkbox and enter the maximum deviation in pips to enable this feature

Placing your order

Once you have entered all the parameters, do one of the following:

  • Press the ‘Buy’ button to open a long position at the current ask price
  • Press the ‘Sell’ button to open a short position at the current bid price

Your order will be sent to us and we will check it. We will reject the order if:

  • You don’t have sufficient margin in your account
  • The price has changed and the difference is more than the specified maximum deviation
  • The ‘Stop Loss’ or ‘Take Profit’ is too close to the current market price

In the last case, you will receive an ‘Invalid S/L or T/P’ message. You will need to adjust these levels and resubmit your order.

Otherwise, we will execute your order and set the stop loss and take profit levels. You will see the following:

  • The status bar for your new position will appear in the ‘Terminal’ window’s ‘Trade’ tab
  • The opening price will be displayed on the corresponding chart
  • The stop loss and take profit levels will also be displayed on the chart

Note that trade information is only displayed on charts if you have enabled the ‘Show trade levels’ option.

'Terminal' Window

Request orders

For some symbols, you need to request a quote before you can trade:

  • Press the ‘Request’ button in the ‘Order’ window
  • The quote you receive will only be valid for a few seconds
  • The ‘Buy’ and ‘Sell’ buttons will be greyed out if you don’t make your trade in time

Closing a position

To take your profits or losses, you need to close your position. This can happen in the following ways:

  • Automatically
  • When you close you position manually

In all cases, information about your closed position will appear in the ‘Terminal’ window’s ‘Account History’ tab.

Automatic closing

We will close your position automatically under the following conditions:

  • The current bid price is equal to your stop loss or take profit level on a long position
  • The current ask price is equal to your stop loss or take profit level on a short position
  • When current prices cause your account to reach the stop out level we have set

Manually closing a single position

To close a position manually, first open the order window for the position. You can do this in the following ways from the ‘Terminal’ window’s ‘Trade’ tab:

  • Right-click on the position and select ‘Close Order’ from the context menu
  • Double-click on the position with the left mouse button

Once the ‘Order’ window is open, do the following to close the position:

  • Set the ‘Type’ to ‘Instant Execution’
  • Press the ‘Close’ button

You can also partially close positions by doing the following:

  • Set the ‘Volume’ to the partial amount you want to close
  • Press the ‘Close’ button

For some symbols, you need to request a quote before you can close the position:

  • Press the ‘Request’ button in the ‘Order’ window
  • The quote your receive will only be valid for a few seconds
  • The ‘Close’ button will be greyed out if you don’t make your trade in time

Note that MetaTrader 4 displays bid prices on charts by default. To display ask prices, you need to enable the ‘Show Ask Line’ option in the terminal settings.

Closing opposite positions

When you have both a long and a short position in an market instrument, these are known as opposite positions. With MetaTrader 4, you can close both positions simultaneously, so that you aren’t left with one position open for a period of time after you close the first position.

To close opposite positions, do the following:

  • Open the ‘Order’ window
  • Set the ‘Type’ to ‘Close By’
  • A list of your open positions will appear in the bottom half of the window
  • Select the two opposite positions you want to close
  • Press the ‘Close’ button

You can close opposite positions even if they aren’t equal in size. You will be left with the remainder of the larger position. Here’s an example:

  • You sold EURUSD and have a short position of 10 lots at 1.4050
  • You bought EURUSD and have a long position of 12 lots at 1.3950
  • You close the two opposite positions
  • You are left with a long position of two lots at 1.3950

Closing Opposite Positions

Note that when you close opposite positions, they will appear in the ‘Terminal’ window’s ‘Account History’ tab, and information about the opposite positions will appear in the ‘Comment’ field.

Closing multiple opposite positions

Above, you were able to close a single pair of opposite positions. However, you can also close multiple opposite positions using the following method:

  • Open the ‘Order’ window
  • Set the ‘Type’ to ‘Multiple Close By’
  • A list of your open positions will appear in the bottom half of the window
  • Select the pairs of opposite positions you want to close
  • Press the ‘Close’ button

Again, you can close opposite positions even if they aren’t the same size.

Placing, modifying and deletion of Stop-Loss and Take-Profit orders

When you place an order, you can specify a stop loss and take profit level:

  • The stop loss level is the price to close at if you’re making a loss
  • The take profit level is the price to close at if you’re making a profit

Once you have opened a position, you can modify these levels at any time. First, open the ‘Terminal’ window and then open the position using one of the following methods:

  • Double-click on the ‘Stop Loss’ or ‘Take Profit’ field with the left mouse button
  • Right-click on the position and select ‘Modify or Delete Order’

'Modify or Delete Order' Menu

Once the ‘Order’ window has opened, do the following:

  • Change the ‘Stop Loss’ and ‘Take Profit’ fields to the values you want
  • Press the ‘Modify’ button

Modifying Stop Loss and Take Profit Levels

Placing, modification and deletion of Pending Orders

You don’t have to trade at the current market price. Instead, you can place a pending order, which will be triggered once the price reaches the level you specify. The order will be executed even if you aren’t logged in to the MetaTrader 4 terminal.

Placing a pending order

To place a pending order, you must open a new order first. You can do this using any of the following methods:

  • Select ‘New Order’ from the ‘Tools’ menu
  • Press F9
  • Double-click on the symbol you want in the ‘Market Watch’ window
  • Select ‘New Order’ from the ‘Market Watch’ window’s context menu
  • Select ‘New Order’ from the ‘Trade’ tab’s context menu in the ‘Terminal’ window
  • Press the  button in the ‘Standard’ toolbar

Once the ‘Order’ is open, you must fill in the order parameters, as shown in the following table.

Parameter Description Mandatory/Optional
Symbol The market instrument you want to trade. Mandatory
Volume The amount you want to trade in lots. Mandatory
Stop Loss The price to close at if you’re making a loss. Note that this is the bid price for long positions and the ask price for short positions. A value of ‘0’ indicates no stop loss. Optional
Take Profit The price to close at if you’re making a profit. Note that this is the bid price for long positions and the ask price for short positions. A value of ‘0’ indicates no take profit. Optional
Comment Text up to 25 characters. You can’t change this once your order is placed, and we may modify or overwrite it. Optional
Type Set this to ‘Pending Order’. Mandatory

'Order' Window

Once you set the ‘Type’ to ‘Pending Order’, further parameters will appear in the bottom half of the ‘Order’ screen. Fill these in as well.

Parameter Description Mandatory/Optional
Type The type of pending order you want to place – see below. Mandatory
At price The price at which you want to execute the order. Mandatory
Expiry The time to cancel the order if it hasn’t been triggered. Optional

Pending order types

You can place pending orders to buy or sell, and these can be either stop orders or limit orders. You need to select the right type, depending on what you think will happen to the price

Type Current Price Trigger Price Prediction
Buy Limit Ask > ‘At Price’ Ask = ‘At Price’ If price falls to ‘At Price’, it will then rise.
Buy Stop Ask < ‘At Price Ask = ‘At Price’ If price rises to ‘At Price’, it will continue to rise.
Sell Limit Bid < ‘At Price’ Bid = ‘At Price’ If price rises to ‘At Price’, it will then fall
Sell Stop Bid > ‘At Price’ Bid = ‘At Price’ If price falls to ‘At Price’, it will continue to fall.

Modifying and deleting pending orders

You can modify or delete a pending order before it has been triggered. First, open the pending order:

  • Right-click on the pending order in the ‘Trade’ tab of the ‘Terminal’ window
  • A context menu will appear
  • Select ‘Modify or Delete Order’

Once the order window appears, do one of the following:

  • Press the ‘Delete’ button
  • Modify the parameters and press ‘Modify’

Modifying or Deleting Orders

Trailing Stop

When you open a position, you can place a stop loss to limit your losses if the position becomes unprofitable. However, if the position becomes profitable, you may want to adjust your stop loss to a break-even level.

You can do this manually, but you can also do it automatically using a trailing stop. This is useful, as you don’t have to watch the price.

To place a trailing stop:

  • Open the ‘Terminal’ window
  • Right-click on the position to launch the context menu
  • Select ‘Trailing Stop’
  • Choose the number of points you want between the stop loss level and the price

You can only set one trailing stop for each open position.

Once you have placed the trailing stop, the MetaTrader terminal will track the current price and do the following:

  • Wait until your position goes into profit by the number of points you specified in your trailing stop
  • Issue a stop loss order at the level specified in the trailing stop
  • Continue to raise the stop loss as the price rises
  • Record all stop loss changes in the terminal journal

The stop loss isn’t adjusted downwards if the price falls, so your profits are locked in.

You can disable existing trailing stops by doing the following:

  • Open the ‘Terminal’ window
  • Right-click on the position to launch the context menu
  • Select ‘Trailing Stop’
  • Select ‘None’ to disable the trailing stop for the selected position
  • Select ‘Delete All’ to disable all trailing stops

Note that trailing stops are managed by the MetaTrader terminal, not by our servers. If you turn off the terminal, the trailing stops will no longer work, and the last stop loss orders that were sent to our servers will remain in place.

Quick access to the main MetaTrader features via Navigator

The MetaTrader Navigator gives you quick access to key MetaTrader features; it arranges them in groups in a tree structure. There are five groups:

  • Accounts – your MetaTrader accounts
  • Indicators – built-in MetaTrader technical indicators
  • Expert Advisors – programs that automate market analysis and trading
  • Custom Indicators – technical indicators that you have created
  • Scripts – one-off scripts that you have created

You can access the ‘Navigator’ window any of the in the following ways:

  • Press Ctrl+N
  • Select ‘Navigator’ from the ‘View’ menu
  • Press the Navigator button in the ‘Standard’ toolbar

There is also a ‘Favorites’ menu where you can store the commands you use the most.

Accounts

The ‘Accounts’ group includes all your active MetaTrader accounts. You can log in to an account using the following methods:

  • Double-click on the account with the left mouse button
  • Right-click on the account and select ‘Login’ from the context menu

You can also create demo accounts here. There are two ways of doing this:

  • Press Insert
  • Right-click and select ‘Open an account’ from the context menu

You can’t create real accounts, although you can access them.

Indicators

The ‘Indicators’ group contains built-in MetaTrader technical indicators, which are used to analyse market data on charts. You can add indicators to charts in the following ways:

  • Double-click on an indicator with the left mouse button to add it to the active chart
  • Right-click on an indicator and select ‘Add to Chart’ to add it to the active chart
  • Drag-and-drop an indicator to any chart – not just the active one

Expert Advisors

Expert advisors are compiled programs that automate analysis and trading, and are created using the built-in MetaEditor. Do the following to work with expert advisors:

  • Right-click and select ‘Create’ to create a new expert advisor
  • Right-click and select ‘Modify’ to modify an existing expert advisor
  • Right-click and select ‘Delete’ to delete an existing expert advisor

To apply an expert advisor to a chart, do the following:

  • Double-click on an advisor with the left mouse button to add it to the active chart
  • Right-click on an advisor and select ‘Add to Chart’ to add it to the active chart
  • Drag-and-drop an advisor to any chart – not just the active one

Uncompiled expert advisors can’t be applied to charts; these are greyed out in the ‘Navigator’ window.

More information about expert advisors can be found in the ‘Auto Trading’ section of the MetaTrader 4 User Guide.

Custom Indicators

Custom indicators are technical indicators that you have created yourself. The context menu for custom indicators is similar to that for expert advisors.

More information about custom indicators can be found in the ‘Custom Indicators’ section of the MetaTrader 4 User Guide.

Scripts

Scripts are one-off, uncompiled programs that you have created yourself. The context menu for scripts is similar to that for expert advisors.

More information about scripts can be found in the ‘Scripts’ section of the MetaTrader 4 User Guide.

Hot Keys

You can assign hot keys to any item in the ‘Navigator’ window, except for accounts. To do this, select ‘Set Hotkey’ from the context menu.

Note that hot key settings override hot key defaults. For example, if you assign Ctrl+O to the ‘On Balance Volume’ indicator, the key will no longer open the terminal settings window.

Favorites

The ‘Favorites’ tab contains the commands that you use most often. You can add any command from its corresponding context menu, including commands that are in context menus themselves.

To delete an item, right click on it in the ‘Favorites’ tab and select ‘Delete from Favorites’.

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