MetaTrader 4 or MT4 has gained much publicity especially during these past 3-5 years. When I started writing my first trading algorithm back in 2011, I felt that I was already late to the game. However almost no one around me (not even our financial sector colleagues!) had heard of MT4.
Fast forward to today, MT4 is easily one of the most commonly used trading platform, both by manual traders as well as experienced traders running their own custom indicators or “Expert Advisors”, the term given to fully automated trading systems written for MT4.
Below are six tips which we found pretty useful in our day-to-day usage of MetaTrader 4, we hope you will find them useful too!
Saving Your Most Frequently Used Indicators in Chart Template
You can add all your favourite indicators to a new price chart all in one go!
To do that:
- Firstly, add all your day-to-day indicators on to a chart
- Next, right-click on the chart and select Template -> Save Template
- Give the template a name and save it at a place where you can find it again
Now whenever you open a new chart and wish to apply those indicators again, simply right-click on the new chart and select Template -> Load Template. Click on the template that you have saved and click “Open”. What a time-saver!
Organising Your Charts
The order which the charts are placed around the screen matters a lot to Traders, especially if you have a mild case of OCD like me.
More often than not, you will find yourself monitoring price movement of a few trading instruments (or much more!) over many different charts. To place the charts exactly in the order placement you want:
- Open the charts of the instruments/markets which you wish to monitor
- Select the menu Window -> Tile Windows
- You will see the chart windows neatly tiled up, however the order may not be exactly the way you want it. Drag the tabs below the charts left and right to re-order them, the charts are ordered down first, then right. Refer to the screenshot below for a better idea of this:
- Finally, click on the top menu Window -> Tile Windows again
Viola! The charts are now exactly where you want them to be!
Saving your “desktop” as a Profile
Have various configurations and layouts for your MT4 platform, and you want to instantly load the different configurations depending on what you want to trade that day?
No problem. After you have configured your charts (with the indicators you want), and placed them exactly the way you want it, click on File -> Profile -> Save As. Give this profile a name and click “OK”. Repeat for each other configuration.
In future, simply click File -> Profiles, and click on the profile that you want, and that profile will load up almost instantly.
Conserving memory when running an EA (Expert Advisor) on a VPS
This is more for the advanced users, where you are looking to run an EA on your MT4 platform for the next few months (or years!) within a VPS (Virtual Private Server).
I noticed that many MT4 users simply plug their EA onto the MT4 platform and turn on “AutoTrading”, while leaving all the default Symbols (FX pairs/crosses etc) running in the Market Watch window. For every symbol that is being updated, it takes up a small bit of the precious memory (RAM) which is always given in a small amount in most VPS. Over a few weeks or maybe even a month or two, that little bits of memory adds up and could result in a VPS crash. In fact, this is the most common reason for a VPS crash when running EAs on MT4.
To resolve this, right click on any symbol in the Market Watch and select “Hide All”. All unused symbols will then be removed, leaving only those that you have a chart on the platform. Double check that all your needed symbols are there. Then restart your MT4 platform (assuming that it is safe to do so and you have no positions and orders opened by any EAs. If yes, close them or wait for another time to restart). This memory issue should now be resolved.
This is especially critical if you are running multiple instances of MT4, as the above issue is then compounded.
Oh yes talking about VPS, do check out our guide on how to get a free VPS from Google Cloud, before Google terminate their free $300 credits offer!
Prevent chart auto-scrolling
One of the most common grouses from my friends who are new to MT4 is that they cannot drag the price chart to the past without the chart jumping back to the current candlestick/bar almost immediately.
This has got to be an issue unique only to MT4. And the solution is very simple, check whether the button (as shown in the screenshot here) is depressed in. If yes, simply click it to un-depress it:
You can now drag the chart back to the past again, just like other trading platforms.
How To Export Out The Whole Historical Transaction Log
The “Account History” tab shows a record of the past transactions, including both placed and cancelled orders, and executed trades. It defaults to showing only the past three months’ worth of transactions.
To show the full log, right click on any of the entries, then select “All History”:
After that, you can simply right-click again and select “Save As Detailed Report”.
The saved file is in html format. If you want it in Excel (or in any other spreadsheets), simply open the html file, then use your mouse to drag select and highlight all the records, copy (Ctrl-C) and paste (Ctrl-V) into your spreadsheet.
Hope these six tips has helped you in one way or another. For more useful guides, check out the rest of our articles on algorithmic trading here:
How to differentiate good trading systems from the rest?
Ways you can manage your risk using automated trading strategies
Do also check out our preferred broker IG (click here). Listed on London Exchange, they are among the largest forex and CFD brokers worldwide. We are currently running our algorithmic trading systems on IG live accounts, performance can be seen here: myfxbook – GS Alpha Bundle Portfolio