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AB18 - Introduction to MetaTrader 4

"The MetaTrader 4 or the MT4 trading platform is one of the most widely used trading platform in forex and CFD’s. You can use the MT4 on your desktop (Windows and Mac), mobile apps and via the browser as well. The reasons behind the popularity of the MT4 trading platform is that it is free of cost. But of course, it is not just the cost of the trading platform itself. Having been around for a decade, the MT4 trading platform has a strong ecosystem of developers and tons of technical indicators and expert advisors. If you are trading forex, chances are that you will stumble upon the MT4 trading platform. This article gives you a preliminary guide on how to get started with using the MT4 trading platform. By the end of this article, you should be able to comfortably navigate your way around the MT4 trading platform and even be able to identify where the various trading tools, drawing instruments, etc. are located."

The MT4 trading platform is relatively easy for beginners. It is not surprising then that the MT4 platform is the most sought after forex and CFD trading platform. It is a combination of both a charting platform as well as a trading platform.

The following summarizes the key things you will be able to do with the MT4 trading platform:

  • Using technical indicators and drawing tools to conduct your technical analysis
  • Place trades and manage them
  • Code strategies or custom technical indicators
  • Backtest automated trading systems and technical indicators

The MT4 Trading Platform – Navigation

Let’s start with the navigation of the MT4 trading platform.

AB18 01 MT4 Platform

MT4 Trading Platform

As the picture shows above, the MT4 trading platform can be broadly divided into four sections. Starting from the left to right and from the top, you will see the following:

  • The main top section of the MT4 trading platform shows you the menu bar and a custom title bar with easy to access features such as configuring the chart and standard drawing tools. You can completely customize this top part of the MT4 trading platform
  • The left side of the MT4 platform is divided into two parts. The first part is the Market Watch section. This shows you the list of instruments and their bid/ask prices Below this is the Navigator window. The navigator window is where you can find technical indicators and expert advisers.
  • The lower part of the MT4 trading platform is categorized into tabs. The main tab is the Trade section and here you can see your total account balance, open trades and unrealized PnL
  • The other tabs include details such as total exposure based on a currency, account history, a built-in mailbox and other details.
  • Finally, the main part of the screen is the charting interface. This is where the instruments can be dragged and dropped. Here, you can use both drawing tools and technical indicators or even directly apply the expert advisors or the automated trading systems to trade.
  • The charting section shows you trades that are currently open. You can also trade directly from the charts if you configure the MT4 trading platform accordingly.

Customizing the MT4 Platform

The trading platform is very versatile as you can customize it and make it look very unique. The customization includes being able to assign hotkeys to your most frequently used trading indicators and EA’s.

You can also change the colors of the chart and switch between the three main chart types (line chart, candlestick chart, bar chart) and customize it to suit your preferences. These customizations can also include technical indicators. You can then save the charts as a template file (.tpl) which can be exported and shared with others.

The layout is also very flexible. This means that you can move the entire configuration around. The picture below shows how well the MT4 trading platform be customized which also includes moving the main elements around.

AB18 02 MT4 Customization

MT4 Trading platform Customization

There is also the option to save your workspaces where you can include specific set of instruments and their respective charts.

The level of customization goes to a point that makes it very easy to trade. You can use a combination of the default hotkeys, or build your own customizations, so there is minimal intervention in using the mouse.

Therefore, using just keystrokes, you can easily achieve what you want. This includes one-click trading to changing the templates of the charts that you use.

MT4 Platform – Versions

The MT4 trading platforms come in different versions. These include the basic desktop version which can be used on both the Windows and Mac. Besides the desktop version, you can also use the MT4 trading platform on your mobile phone (supported by iTunes and Google Play stores).

And finally, you can also access the MT4 trading platform via a browser as well. However, some features are limited in this function. For example, you will not be able to run automated trading strategies in both the mobile and the browser based versions. The limitation also includes being able to use just the default set of indicators and drawing tools.

However, if you compare the limitations of the MT4 mobile/browser based apps to many other trading platforms, you will find that the MT4 trading platform is way ahead of its league.

Whether you are complete beginner to the MT4 platform or have some past experience with other trading platforms, you will find that the MT4 trading platform is one of the easiest and the simples of trading platforms to use.

Read 806 times Last modified on Wednesday, 19 June 2019 11:04

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