If you’ve been trading forex for a little while now, you’re no doubt familiar with the popular MetaTrader 4 platform. The MT4 platform is very easy to get the hang of and start trading with right away, but it also has a whole lot of hidden, powerful features which you may or not be aware of. These 3 handy tips and tricks will put you on the path to becoming an MT4 superuser.
Please note these tricks are designed for the MT4 platform for Windows. They will work for Mac operating systems as well, though the mouse and keyboard shortcuts may be a little different. These tricks will not work on mobile versions of MT4; mobile trading is great for trading on the run, but in order to unlock MT4’s full potential, the Windows / Mac version of the MT4 platform essential.
MT4 Tips & Tricks: Custom Charts & Templates
In ‘Why Traders Can’t Enough of the MT4 Platform’ we noted that MT4 isn’t the prettiest platform in town, but there are a few things you can do to spruce it up. Customizing the look and feel of your charts is a huge step forward from the default green-on-black charts that appear when you launch the program for the first time. If you are going to be spending extended hours in front of your charts, you want them to be relatively pleasant to look at and easy on the eye.
To customize a chart, simply right click on it and select Properties at the bottom of the context menu, or just hit the F8 function key. The Properties window will appear and you’ll find yourself on the Colours tab. Here you can specify the colour of every single conceivable element on your chart. A good place to start right away is clicking on the Colour Schemes menu and selecting Black On White.
The colours and style you specify are completely up to you (that’s the point isn’t it?), but here are some quick tips if you are having trouble creating nice looking charts:
– White backgrounds can be a little bright if you are spending hours on the charts – experiment with near white colours for backgrounds that are a little easier on the eye.
– Foreground changes the colour of the price and date labels, chart outlines and any default text on the chart (Entry, SL & TP labels, symbol name etc). Selecting None here will leave all elements black, but remove the chart outlines.
– Changing the Grid colour also changes the colour of the bid line – we recommend selecting None here which will turn both the grid and bid line off and make for a much cleaner looking chart
– Bull / Bear Candle refers to the candle body, Bar Up / Down refers to the outline of the candle (or bar colour if you’re using bar charts)
– Use soft, pastel colours for your candle bodies with a solid black outline. Here at Vantage we use Light Steel Blue for our Bull Candles and Light Coral for bear candles. You should be able to take a quick glance at a chart and tell a bullish candle from a bearish candle right away.
After you’re done customizing the colours of your chart, click through to the Common tab. Here you can:
– Turn on / off Chart Shift – adds white space to end of your chart, useful for making price predictions
– Turn on / off Auto-scroll – this needs to be turned off if you want to scroll through historical data
– Fix the vertical scale – this is also useful for price predictions, it lets you see objects located off chart like fib extension levels or trend-lines
– Switch between Bar, Candle and Line charts
– Display grid, OHLC, ask line, period separators, volumes etc
Once you have finished customising your chart and exited the properties window, right click on your chart and click Save Template. Now you can load this template on all your other charts so they all look great. Note this saves all trend-lines and chart objects as well so it is best to customize a blank chart to begin with or delete these elements before saving.
MT4 Tips & Tricks: Custom Fib Levels & Price Labels
The Fibonacci tool is one of the most popular and widely used tools in forex, even Price Action traders who favour naked charting will often use Fib tools. The standard levels are 23.6, 38.2, and 61.8, but you’ll want to add in the popular 50% and 78.6 levels too. To do this:
– Select a Fibonacci tool already on a chart or place a new one
– Right-click on the dotted diagonal line and click Fibo Properties to bring up the Fibo window
– On the Levels tab, click Add and enter 0.50
– Click the description column and enter 50 or 50%
– Repeat the above two steps for the 78.6 fib: enter 0.786 in the Levels column and 78.6 in description
Want your fib tools to display the actual price associated with a fib level? Enter the following in each description field after the fib description = %$. For Example the new description for the 50% level you entered above should now read 50.0 = %$. Note you only have to do this once, from now on whenever you place a Fibo on a chart it will have the 50% and 78.6 level as well as to the point price labels for each level!
MT4 Tips & Tricks: Partially Close an Order
Can’t decide whether to exit a trade or hold on? Say hello to partial close. This feature allows you to close as little or as much of an order as you want, while leaving the rest of the position on. To do this, simply double click on the trade you want to partially close in the terminal window (don’t click the SL or TP columns though, as this will bring up the order modification window). Now simply enter the desired lot size you wish to close in the Volume field and hit the yellow close button. Too easy. Take half, let the rest run.
We hope you have enjoyed these tips and tricks for getting the most out of your MT4 platform and are well on your way to becoming a superuser. This list is far from exhaustive and you will continue to pick things up and learn shortcuts as you go, you may even learn some things we don’t know!