Let’s review some of the functions of our main trading tool, which are there for us to use but which we know little about or perhaps not at all, as few users take the time to read the built-in instructions or other help-related guidelines.
Clicking on the F11 key will switch the terminal to full-screen mode.
In order to use the crosshair option, click on the third (middle) button of your computer mouse or Ctrl + F on your keyboard. This can be very useful in the full-screen mode.
To bring up the utility windows in the full-screen mode, you can use the following combinations on your keyboard:
- Ctrl + M brings up Market Watch
- Ctrl + N brings up the Navigator
- Ctrl + T brings up the Terminal
- Ctrl + D brings up the Data window
To go back to the normal mode, click on F11.
The location of tools in the MT4 terminal window.
It is convenient to place charts in the terminal window by groupings (e.g. yen pairs, metals, oil and gas, grain, etc.). If you have a lot of charts open in your MT4 terminal, you can group them. You can do that by selecting the name of the instrument (all open instruments can be found at the bottom in the shape of a horizontal line) with the left button of the mouse and dragging it to the desired location on that line.
You can quickly pin indicators, experts, and/or scripts to your charts, but you have to assign them hot buttons first.
This can be especially helpful when you use the full-screen mode. To assign hot buttons, select the “Assign hot buttons” command in the context menu of the “Navigator” window.
You can select any combination of keys you like.
To set your chart to a certain time, you can use the quick navigation row.
To open the quick navigation row, hit Space or Enter and move your cursor to the bottom left part of the chart. When you see the CHF.S sign appear, click on the left button of your mouse.
Be sure to turn off the chart auto-scroll option.
The command format of the quick navigation row for the exact positioning of your chart is as follows:
- [time (hours:minutes)]
- [date] [time]
Example: 16.10.2004 8:30
The quick navigation row can also help you change quickly the symbol of the chart and its period. This can be especially helpful in the full-screen mode.
The command format of the quick navigation row to change the symbol and/or period of your chart:
- [the selection of the financial instrument]
- [the period of the chart]
- [the selection of the financial instrument], [the period of the chart]
Example: GBPUSD, M30
To execute the quick navigation command, hit Enter. Or, hit Escape to cancel. The quick navigation row can perform only one of the mentioned commands.
By pointing to the “Terminal” window heading and double-clicking on the left button of your mouse, you will minimize the window down to the row that shows your current account balance.
That will help you free up more space for your chart. You can also minimize the window by double-clicking the left button of your mouse on the heading of any tab of the window.
To restore the window, double-click on the minimized window or select the “Restore” command in the context menu.
To speed up access to frequently used indicators, scripts, experts, or accounts, you can add the items to your Favorites group.
With the right button of your mouse, click on the name of the indicator, script, expert, or account, and select the “Add to Favorites” command.
You can access your newly created list of favorites through the Favorites tab of the Navigator window.
When setting up an order, the dropdown menu offers you, by default, a total of 13 lot size choices, from 0.01 to 8. This does not at all mean that you cannot choose your own lot size. You simply need to edit the values to set them up according to your specifications, or you can define your own default settings (Service -> Settings -> Trading).
You can significantly reduce traffic by hiding symbols that you don’t use.
You can hide symbols in several ways:
- In the “Market view” window, open the context menu and select the “Hide all symbols” command.
- Select the symbol that you want to hide by clicking on the left button of the mouse and hit Delete.
- You can also select the “Symbols” command in the context menu of your “Market view” window and, in the opened that has just opened, show or hide symbols as needed.
It is impossible to hide a symbol if:
- There are open or pending orders under the underlying financial instrument.
- There is an open chart in your current trading session.
- The symbol is used for calculating cross currencies.
Traffic is lowered if you turn off the news distribution.
To do that, open the “Service -> Settings” menu and uncheck the “Allow news” field under the “Server” tab.
It is possible to create various symbol sets and switch back and forth between them as needed.
This can be useful if you are working with different financial instruments (currency pairs, stocks, futures, etc.). Hide all the superfluous symbols and save the resulting symbol set.
The F10 key will bring up the quotes window.
By selecting the “Always above” option in the context menu, you can follow quotes while working in other applications.
By opening the “Properties” quotes window in the context menu, you can adjust its color and font.
Market viewing – quick adding of instruments
In order to quickly add an instrument in your “Market viewing” window, it is unnecessary to open the entire list and look for the required instrument among the hundreds of forex pairs, stocks, or futures.
It is sufficient to double-click on any empty space, enter the symbol manually, and hit Enter. The instrument has now been added to the list.
The color of the font and bars, and of indicators and features, can be made the same for all charts.
Adjust the settings of each chart as necessary: indicate the color of choice, define the features and indicators, etc. Then open the “Charts -> Template -> Save template” menu and save the created template under the name of default.tpl
Going forward, the template will be applied to all newly opened charts.
The following items are stored in the templates:
- Type and color of the chart
- The color scheme
- The scale of the chart
- The presence of the OHLC row
- The attached advisor and its parameters
- The applied user and technical indicators with their settings
- Linear instruments
- Day separators
You can create your own templates for charts opened from testers and those that are opened autonomously.
To create a default template for a chart opened from a tester, you will need to save the template under the name of tester.tpl.
To create a default template for an autonomously opened chart, use the offline.tpl name.
If, when opening an autonomous chart, the offline.tpl template isn’t found, use the default.tpl name. In the absence of the tester.tpl template, the built-in settings are used.
If you have several accounts, you can put up each one under a different profile. When you switch between accounts, the profiles will be opened automatically.
To enable this, it is necessary for a profile to be saved with a name that corresponds to the selected account number.
To bring up the “Crosshair” feature, click on the third (middle) button of the mouse or the CTRL+F key command.
This property can be very useful in the full-screen mode.
With the help of an electronic ruler, you can quickly find out the vertical distance and number of bars between two points on a chart.
Select the “Crosshair” feature and use the left button of the mouse to click on the first point of the chart. Without releasing the button of your mouse, move the cursor to the second point.
The first number (22) displays the quantity of bars. The second number (111) shows the vertical pip distance. The third number (1.2659) shows the bid of the second point.
The F12 key allows you to go forward through the chart by bars.
This function can be useful when you want to develop and test the workability of your trading strategy. Simply open the chart at the beginning of its history (using the “Home” key) and leaf through it bar by bar.
The combination of the Shift+F12 keys allows you to review a chart by going backwards, bar by bar.
You can also display closed positions and removed pending orders on a chart.
For that you’ll need to go to the “Account History” tab in the “Terminal” window. With the help of the left button of the mouse, move the order to the chart. It is necessary to download the history of the symbol of the selected order from the server. If you move the order to the chart of another symbol, it will be switched over to the chart of the selected symbol.
The chart will display the opening and closing (or removal) of the order with the help of arrows. The arrows are in turn connected by trend lines. On one vertical axis, the one with the opening prices, stop-loss and take-profit levels will be displayed.
If you hit Shift while you drag an order, the chart will show all positions under the symbol of the selected order that exist in the “Account history” tab.
It is unnecessary to memorize those conditions that determine the type of established pending orders.
Just use the right button of your mouse to click on the point of the chart where you want to establish an order, and select the “Trading” command in the context menu. You will see the types of pending orders that can be placed in the selected point.
After choosing one of the types, a window will open. The window is a creation/modification window with partially populated fields. You need only specify Stop Loss and/or Take Profit.
Pending orders belong to one of the following four types:
- Buy Limit – the current price level is above the value of the order to be placed
- Buy Stop – the current price level is below the value of the order to be placed
- Sell Limit – the current price level is below the value of the order to be placed
- Sell Stop – the current price level is above the value of the order to be placed
To change the Stop Loss or Take Profit, double-click on one of the following fields in the order row.
Now enter the necessary values and populate the fields in the newly opened window.
If you have somehow accidentally removed a feature, use the CTRL+Z key combination to cancel the most recent action.
Charts that have been accidentally closed can be reopened with all of their settings intact by going to File => Open removed.
To close part of a position.
You don’t need to close your entire position; partial closing is possible. Use the right button of your mouse to select closing. Then enter manually the lot size that you want to close.
Shrinking the chart vertically
Move the cursor to the area on the right where the price is. When the arrow turns into a cross, grab the price and drag it down. Shrinkage works on all timeframes of the chart.
Double-clicking on the price area will restore the chart to its original size.
Types of passwords in MT4
There are two types of passwords in MetaTrader: the trading password (the main password) and the investing password (which allows a user to review open positions, the account history and balance, but does not come with trading authorizations).
Signs of having logged in with your investing password include failure of the F9 function to work, lack of any responsiveness on the part of the terminal to your attempts to click on your positions, and the absence of position management options in the “trading” tab that appears in the menu that comes up when you right-click on your mouse.
Changing the trading password
Menu => Service => Settings, the “Server” tab
Click on the “Change” button, and fill out the “Current password” field in the window that has just opened. Enter and reenter your new password in the two corresponding windows below.
After you click on “OK”, the window should close if the new password has been entered successfully.
If something has been done incorrectly (for example, there is only one type of symbols, or you have entered an incorrect password upon reentering), the terminal will not respond and the window won’t close.
You can only change the password when you are connected to the server; if there is no connection, the option will not work.
Changing the investing password
The procedure is the same, only you have to select the “Change the investing password” radio button.
Trailing stops only work when you are connected to the server. Trailing begins when the profit starts to exceed the stipulated size and trails the price until there is a rollback and the position is closed. An order with a trailing stop is defined by the letter “T” in the left corner of the row in the “Terminal” window.
Copying a line
To draw a channel, for example, it is enough to sketch the line of a trend, double-click on it, and, without releasing the left button of the mouse, pull it by holding down the Ctrl key. The duplicate will be parallel to the original line, or at least almost parallel – in what is the bane of MetaTrader, there will be some curvature with older timeframes.
The chart as an image
To save the current chart as an image, select the “Save as image” option on the menu opened with the right button of the mouse and choose the most appealing one from the list of choices.
To print a chart, use the Ctrl+P key combination.
Charts are printed off in black and white by default, but it is possible to print in color as well. Go to the “Service –> Settings” menu, select the “Charts” tab, and check off the “Print in color” option.