MetaTrader 4 – What is MT4?
What is MetaTrader 4? MT4 or MetaTrader 4 is the most popular forex and CFD trading platform in the world. If your broker doesn’t offer MT4, run the other way. MT4 was first released in 2005 and though Metaquotes then followed up with MT5 in 2010, most traders to this day have stuck with the trusty MT4. MT4 is possibly one of the most well-designed software packages ever developed with errors and crashes being almost unheard of.
The mobile version released in 2012 only added to the program’s popularity, making forex and CFD trading even more accessible.
Table of contents
Installing Metatrader 4
Once you’ve signed up for a demo or live account with your forex or CFD broker, they will send you an email link to download MT4 along with your platform credentials. Once you download and run the .exe installer file, simply follow the on-screen prompts and you will have a brand spanking new copy of Metatrader 4 installed in no time.
How to use Metatrader 4
Using MT4 to trade CFDs and Forex is a walk in the park. Once you’ve launched the program and logged in with the credentials your broker sent you, you will be taken straight to the charting and trading suite. The default view isn’t ideal for traders on a laptop or with small screens, so if this is you, then a good place to start is closing every chart but EURUSD and maximising the EURUSD chart.
Making MT4 look nice
We love MT4, but it’s hardly the most attractive charting package around. Let’s face it, if you’re used to Tradingview, MT4 looks plain ugly out of the box. Not to worry, one of the best things about MT4 is how many traders use it. This means almost anything you want to do with the program, someone else has already done it. Want MT4 to look like Tradingview? No worries, just google “Tradingview MT4 template” or “Tradingview MT4 dark template” depending on your preference.
Once you have downloaded the .tpl file, go back to MT4 and go File -> Open Data Folder, and copy the .tpl file you downloaded to the templates folder. Now you can just go back to the program, right-click on your chart, go to the template dropdown menu and select the template you just copied over.
You may want to customize a bit from there so have a little play around, it’s a good idea to get everything right and save a new template before you start adding new symbols, as otherwise you will have to change each symbol again individually.
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How to install indicators on MT4
MT4 has a great range of indicators right out of the box, but depending on your strategy, one or two might be missing. Not to worry, just like with the Tradingview template we wanted, chances are someone has already created the indicator you’re looking for and even put it up on the market for free. Click on the Market tab then above there, there’s another range of tabs related specifically to the Market, click Indicators to limit your view to indicators only.
Now just to your right, there’s a drop-down menu that says Most rated, click that and change it to free. Now all you need to do is type in the name of the indicator you’re looking for e.g. “Hull” for a Hull Moving Average and voila, a range of free Hull Moving Average indicators will be available to you.
Click the one you like the look of and hit download, if you haven’t already created an MQL5 account, you will have to do so at this point, but don’t worry Metaquotes doesn’t bug you with annoying emails. Once you’ve registered and logged in, just hit download again and the indicator will automatically appear in your indicator list under the Market category.
Now you just simply drag your new indicator on to your chart like any other indicator. Doesn’t get much easier than that!
What about indicators you’ve downloaded elsewhere?
OK so a friend has sent you an indicator or you’ve found it on a forum and you’re wondering how to install it? Don’t worry, this is a little bit more tricky than using indicators from the market but only a little. Remember how we installed a custom template earlier? It’s that easy.
Simply go File -> Open Data Folder again, but this time open up the MQL4 folder, followed by the Indicators folder and copy your custom indicator into this folder. Now go back into Metatrader, right-click on Indicators and select Refresh, your custom indicator is now rocking and ready to go, just drag it on to your chart like any other indicator.
The possibilities are endless with MT4
The great thing about the Metatrader suite of applications and especially Metatrader 4 is just how expandable and customizable it all is. On the rare chance you can’t find what you’re looking for ready to go on the market or on the forex forums, with a bit of work you’ll be able to code it up yourself. If that’s too much work or coding really isn’t your thing, you can also just pay to have someone code you what you need.
The freelance development market is super competitive with developers all around the world competing for jobs, chances are you can get the indicator or trading bot you need to be coded up in a matter of hours without breaking the bank – a simple custom indicator or trading bot shouldn’t cost you more than $20-$50!
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Hein is a Forex and CFD enthusiast with a passion for writing good informative quality content. He strives to showcase the best Forex Brokers in South Africa. Join him on his Journey!
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