MT4 Chart editing is really simple. Here's all the basics in less than 7 Minutes.
An MT4 Chart is easy to create once you have an understanding of how to pull up a chart and then edit it to your liking. What is nice is that once you have the chart settings the way you like it, you can make it into a template and not have to go through the same process on a repeated basis. There's no one way to set up a chart because aesthetically, we all have different needs. So here's how it is all done.
Pulling up a MetaTrader 4 Chart
Below is a very basic setup for MetaTrader 4. If you want to know about the MT4 Toolbars and Navigation, there's an article devoted to that. There are two ways to pull up your desired chart and in this case, there's no interest in having an 1 Hour USDJPY chart because we're actually interested in pulling up a different chart (for this article).
Option #1: Market Watch Drag and Drop
In this situation, we want to pull up the XAUUSD chart. It's as simple as left-clicking on the XAUUSD quote in the MarketWatch section as highlighted and dragging it onto the existing chart that is on the right. There will always be a chart present by default.
Option #2: The Chart + Button
The highlighted button on the toolbar above provides a dropdown of currency pairs, commodities and CFD charts to choose from. In this situation, we want to pull up the AUDUSD chart.
Click the button and click the dropdown option of 'AUDUSD'. Your AUDUSD chart is ready for you.
MT4 Chart Properties: The Common Tab
The easy way to get to the Chart Properties on an MT4 Chart is to simply right-click on your desired chart. The Chart Properties change the appearance of the chart so that it looks the way you wish to see it.
There are other options that are readily available on the toolbars and navigational fields, but in this case what is important is the Properties. Select Properties at the very bottom of the choices that come up from right-clicking on the chart.
There are two tabs in the pop-up Properties window as you can see in the above image. Common, which is the open tab and the other tab, which is 'Colors'.
- Offline Chart - Allows you the ability to view the chart without being connected to the Internet.
- Chart on Foreground - Indicators and Drawing Tools are placed behind the chart rather than placed over it.
- Chart Shift - The chart would shift to the latest bar.
- Chart Autoscroll - As times goes by, the chart moves along rather than remaining stationary. New bars, new view automatically.
- Scale Fix One to One - The size of one pip of the vertical axis in pixels is equal to the distance between the bar axes in pixels.
- Scale Fix - The minimum and maximum rate shown on the screen remains stationary based on the requirements you make. If the rate goes below or above the minimum or maximum rate that is set, you could miss out on seeing the latest bar or some bars on the chart. It's possible to have a view of absolutely nothing, but the background with a scale fix.
Bars are simply lines with an open and close spoke. You can set the bullish and bearish bars to be different colors, but in this case, the bars are all the same.
Candlesticks look like candlesticks. They have a body to them and wicks like a candle. The bodies are filled with different colors signifying bullishness or bearishness of the candle.
It's a simple line that connects together the Close Prices of the individual bars. The bars are not visible, just close prices through the line.
OHLC stands for Open, High, Low, Close. The best way to explain it is to simply show how it works.
Unchecked Show OHLC
Checked Show OHLC
See the numbers next to AUDUSD, H1... there's the Open, High, Low and Close Price for the current bar on the time frame you have selected.
Show Ask Line: Shows the Ask Price on the chart with a line and the price visible. The Bid Price is always shown, but the Ask Price is an optional part of the chart.
Period Separators: Creates a dashed vertical line that separates the days on the chart. At Midnight, the line is established. Each period has 24 hours.
Show Grid: The grid helps visualize prices on the chart to get a sense of where past prices have been, but the grid can be removed. The dashed lines are removed when this is left unchecked.
With the Grid
Without the Grid
Show Volumes: This is a feature that shows the trading volumes on the bottom of the chart. In this case, the trading volumes are green bars on the chart.
Show Object Descriptions: Did you draw on the chart and place a description for the particular objects drawn? The descriptions would appear on the chart.
MT4 Chart Properties: The Colors Tab
You can customize every element of the chart right here and the best part is that it is previewed in the window.
There are preset color schemes that may work for you, a preferred color scheme for many is to choose 'Black on White' and choose the color 'None' under Grid.
Adding an Expert Advisor, Script or Indicator to the MT4 Chart
It's as simple as drag and drop from the Navigation Window to the Chart.
Indicators, Expert Advisors and Scripts are all added the same way to the chart. Bear in mind that you are limited to one Expert Advisor per chart. You can place as many indicators on a chart as you wish and you can have multiple chart tabs running simultaneously, which means that you could have multiple Expert Advisors running at once.
More on Expert Advisors
When you drag the Expert Advisor onto the chart you desire to apply the automated trading strategy, you will be presented with options before it goes into action. Every Expert Advisor is different and if you designed the Expert Advisor, the options (inputs) will be as flexible as you created it!
The Common tab offers check-off options that are presented to all users of any Expert Advisor. If you want to receive alerts as to whether a trade is made, if you want it to make live trades or if you want it to make any imports or modify Signals settings... you can choose to do so in this tab.
The Inputs tab is based on the variable settings created in the Expert Advisor.
After clicking the 'OK' button in this window... you may get a chart that looks like this.
In the upper right hand corner of the chart, you'll see a frowning face, which means that the Expert Advisor cannot be used because settings have not allowed it to operate.
One of two things happened or both:
- AutoTrading has not been turned on.
- In the window prior, you did not allow live trading.
See how the frowning face became a smiling face? That means that the Expert Advisor has been empowered to take action for you and place trades.
And that's the way you get introduced to MT4 Charts!