Set Up Trading Charts in MetaTrader 4
MetaTrader 4 is the most popular trading software available, which is something you are well aware of. Since all the best forex traders are using it, you’ve decided to go down the same route. So, you download and install it. Then you fire it up… and you blink. You have absolutely no clue where to start. It all seems so complicated!
Don’t worry, though, because this page will help demystify MetaTrader 4 so that you too can use the best trading platform around.
Here, you’ll learn how to set up your charts in detail. We even go so far as to show you how you can change the color scheme, so you can set things up just the way you like them. You’ll also discover how to make things easier on yourself in the future by creating a profile and saving various templates.
Once you’re done reading this page, you’ll be one step closer to mastering MetaTrader 4. If you haven’t yet downloaded the software because it seemed just too complicated from the screenshots alone, then you can go ahead and do it now.
Make sure to sign up with one of our trusted forex broker sites so you start your trading experience.
Video Transcription: How to Set up a Chart in Metatrader
Hello there, this is Topratedforexbrokers.com here, and we continue our trading academy with a new concept regarding the charts and the MetaTrader. You know what the MetaTrader is? It’s the most popular trading platform when it comes to retail trading. And today we will discuss the particulars of a chart of a currency pair.
(0.25) First of all, you must pick a currency from this MarketWatch here. And it doesn’t matter what that currency is, as the steps that we will discuss here will be valid for both the Metatrader 4 and Metatrader 5.
(0.43) So, for example, let’s choose USD / Japanese Yen. We can either click and drag a currency pair on an actual chart that is already in front of us, like this, and then you will have the USD/Japanese Yen on the screen, or, right-click, and we go for chart window and a new chart window here will open with the desired currency.
(1.11) If we want to have more space for analysis, we can close the market watch from here. You can easily open it and close it just by selecting it, and now the chart is showing across the screen. Let’s repeat the steps that we discussed in the previous video. Right click properties and go to the ‘colours’ and go either “bar up” where a bullish move is usually associated with the colour green, but you can actually set up the colours however you like.
(1.49) ”Bar down” or a bearish move is shown in red, so a bull candle should be green, bearish candles should be red. You can choose any kind of background that you want. Let’s choose white and go with a black foreground so that we can see the data and the levels of the currency pair. And then we go onto the current, and you have three options for a chart.
(2.21) By default you will have a bar chart, what does this mean? Let’s zoom in. These are not candles; these are bars. This is an old classic technical analysis as it appeared for the first time in the western part of the world. Technical analysis was invented when people looked for pairs to interpret future price movements over security which was typical of the stock market back then.
(2.50) They used bar charts, and you have the option to use the bar charts here. Or they used line charts and looked at the lines. This is a line that simply coincides with the closing price during the trading day, and it depends very much on the timeframe. This is the hourly chart.
(3.11) So for every hour, you have the closing price, 1 hour, 1 hour, 1 hour and so on, so this is a line chart. Unfortunately, the line chart does not give you the shadows of a candle, and it doesn’t give you the highest point in a candle or the lowest point in a candle.
(3.33) You only end up with the closing price. In the Forex market, this may be tricky, In the sense that, if you put a stop loss here, let’s just say that the market came and spiked at 112.50 coming back and closing the candle and you won’t see that move here in a line chart. But on a candlestick chart, you can see that move, and it is more realistic.
(3.58) So bar charts were the first approach to technical analysis, and a bar chart is very simple to explain. Namely from where the previous bar ends, here, the next one opens, and then you have the highest point, then the lowest point and then the close.
(4.19) And then it starts with the opening, the highest or at the lowest point, the close. The chart connects the previous closing price with the actual opening price of the candle. But the Japanese approach became famous in the Western World, and Westerners embraced the Japanese candlesticks as they are very powerful.
(4.44) We have plenty of examples of Japanese candles here on our trading academy, especially reversal patterns which form and they are quite easy to spot.
(5.01) Anyways, between the three options that we have here; a candlestick chart, a bar or a line chart on the MetaTrader, candlestick charts are the most popular or most used charts among retail traders, so we will use the candlestick charts.
(5.19) Let’s go back to properties, and then on to the colours, let’s say we go back and choose white for the background and black for the foreground. Bar up, green and bar down, red, bull candle we choose green, bear candle, choose red, so we have all the colours set up again.
(5.44) And on the common we have the chart shift. We want the chart to shift so that we have room here for analysis, and we can just have candlesticks and no OHLC as we explained in the previous analysis. No grid and if we click ok the chart will appear in front of us.
(6.04) If we take a look here, we have a small arrow here on top of the screen (points to arrow), now this small arrow, if you click on it, and drag, then a vertical line appears. Using it, we can shift the chart back to halfway across the screen. This will create all this room here for analysis. What kind of analysis?
(6.27) Drawing a trend line for example, further in time, And then maybe if we have a trend line of a triangle, then maybe the market broke the trend line, comes story tests, and it gives you future support and so on. I am just giving you ideas on how to use the space on the right-hand side.
(6.50) Let us assume that we have set up such a chart for the US Dollar/ Japanese Yen, and then we want to interpret this kind of bullish flag for the pair, keep in mind that everything we do on the MetaTrader, any setup that you make on the MetaTrader won’t save automatically. It will ONLY save when you close the trading platform. So you must close the trading platform.
(7.20) Open it again, and your work is saved. Right now, let’s say something happened like the power goes off. Or the trading platform gets blocked, or there is a problem with the internet etc. then your work won’t be saved. You have got to be very careful to save it, so you should close the platform from time to time. Especially when you set the parameters for your charts.
(7.53) Here you have the hourly chart for the USD/Japanese yen, but as you see, we can easily it is to switch to the four-hour chart or switch to the daily chart, the daily prospective. And so on. But we do not want to repeat the process that we described here.
(8.13) We don’t want to repeat these steps every time. If we open a new chart, “File” “New Chart” and choose USD/Swiss Franc, we do not want to go back to properties, and so on, we can easily save the work that we have done, as a template, and then we use this template for any currency pair.
(8.36) Timeframe we want in the future. Right-click, template, save “template”. So we go with this template. Topratedforexbrokers and then we save. And we open a new chart or the one that we have open, for example, the USD/ Swiss Franc and then we right-click, template, and then we simply choose the template here which is topratedforexbrokers and then the chart appears in front of us.
(9.16) There is another trick, whenever the chart opens somewhere, and you want to jump quickly to the end of it, you simply hit the END key on your keyboard, and it will take you to the end. Or if you want to go to the left side of your screen, to back-test a strategy, you simply click on the home button
(9.41) Then it shows values, in this case from 2007 in the hourly chart and you can analyze what the US Dollar/Swiss franc did and so on. The moment that you close the trading platform on the MetaTrader. Your work is saved.
(9.59) This is how you setup a chart on the MetaTrader and the next video will continue with the types of orders that we can place on the MetaTrader.
Technical analysis deals with interpreting historical prices/patterns with the idea of forecasting future price patterns on the right side of a chart. There are trading theories that require a deep analysis of historical prices until the trader can come up to a time frame that can actually be used for trading. One example of such a theory is the Elliott Waves theory, and knowing how to set up a chart in MetaTrader will certainly help to automate the time frames. Other traders use different technical indicators such as trend indicators or oscillators when entering/exiting a trade. In order to do that in MetaTrader, there are some basic things one needs to know.
Adjusting the Platform
When opening a chart with the default settings offered by MetaTrader, it looks like the image below. It’s not really helpful for any trading purposes, not to mention for charting your way when trading in Forex. There are a number of things to do with such a chart, and the first is to choose what type of chart you want it to be: candlesticks, bar chart or line chart.
It is highly recommended that a candlestick chart is used due to the fact that on top of the actual prices, Japanese candlestick techniques can be applied. The three options for choosing a chart style are to be found on the upper half of the MetaTrader platform, right in the middle. After choosing a candlestick chart, we need to know how to differentiate those candles, meaning to see when the price has moved to the upside and when it’s moved to the downside. It is recommended to take the following steps:
- Right-click on the chart and choose Properties. The Colors tab is the one that is opened first and here we can choose the desired colours for all basic things that appear on the chart right now. The default colour for the background is black, and we will leave it like this for now, but it should be noted that it can be changed into any other colour. The foreground is represented by the price levels on the right side of the screen, and the time element is on the horizontal lower side of the chart. This foreground colour must be different from the one use for the background, as otherwise the information will not be seen. In this case, we stick with white.
- The grid is formed by those small boxes the screen is split into, and later we’ll have the option of getting rid of them if we want to. At this moment of time we can change the colour for it in case we want to use this option.
- Bar Up, Bar Down, Bull candle and Bear candle represent the options we have for colouring the candles. The conventional colour for a bearish or down candle is red, while green always shows a candle that is moving to the upside.
- The rest of the lines are not that important when setting up a chart, and it is time to switch to the common tab from the top left of the Properties tab. As you can see here, the Chart autoscroll option is the default one, but we don’t want to have a chart that is always dragging you to the current prices. The technical analysis implies looking back in time, and the way to do that is to choose the Chart shift option and get rid of the Chart autoscroll option.
- By choosing not to show the grid, the chart looks like this.
Saving a Template
The next thing to do is to automate this process in order not to be forced to repeat it every time we open a new chart. The way to do this is to save the chart as a template. To do that, right-click on the chart and chose the Template tab. From there, Save Template, give it a name, and that’s it.
From this moment on, every time a new chart is opened on any currency pair, or on the same currency pair but on a different time frame, this template can be used by loading it.
Saving a Profile
After having saved a template, technical analysis can start and, depending on the type of technical analysis used, different things can be done on a chart. Elliott Waves users use the theory to effectively count the waves, so a trading chart will look like it has a lot of numbers and letters on it. These traders are looking to interpret whether the market is making an impulsive move or a corrective one, as according to Elliott, price action consists of five waves corrected with another three. Numbers are used to count impulsive waves, or the five waves, while letters are used to count corrective waves. Other traders use trend indicators (these indicators are applied on the actual candles that can be seen on the chart), or oscillators (an oscillator is always applied on the bottom of the chart and not on the actual candles) to find out places to enter or exit a market. Market geometry can be used as well, and this implies a lot of lines and channels that start from older prices and are projected on the right side of the chart to find out support and resistance levels, which are important and can be used when trading.
No matter what the trading style and the type of technical analysis used on a chart, at any one moment of time one can save this as a Profile. Closing the MetaTrader platform means that the work and profile are automatically saved, and by opening it again all the work will be there. A profile can be taken and uploaded on other MetaTrader account very easily, which is one of the great things about this trading platform. The above represents just basic information about how to set up a chart in MetaTrader and how to use the chart area to analyse the market. Only by working hard and finding on your own the tips and tricks with MetaTrader will you get an idea of why this is the best trading platform in the world for retail traders.
Other educational materials
- Forex Trading Accounts and the Value of a Pip
- The Importance of Swap and Spreads
- How to Enter/Exit a Trade
- How Do I Make a Profit from Forex Trading?
- Forex Market Terminology
- Profit from Forex Trading Using Different Trading Styles
Recommended further reading
- Testing for arbitrage opportunities within the foreign exchange market. Hussain, I. (2009).
- “INNOVATE ONLINE TRADING BY ADDING SOFTWARE BRIDGE: IDEA AND IMPLEMENTATION.” (2014). Qureshi, Muhammad.