If you are already a trader you are probably familiar with MetaTrader 4, however, if you are moving your first steps in the trading world you may find youself lost with all the sections and buttons present in the MetaTrader window. In this article we will introduce, without going too much into detail, the several frames available in MetaTrader and their functions.
MetaTrader offers many frames and toolbars and it is very flexible as you can always hide, show, move and resize these components to suit your taste. To do this just use the View menu or drag-n-drop frames around or simply move the borders of the windows, once you find the layout you like this will be saved and you will find the same the next time you re-open the software.
NOTE: This article is based on the MetaTrader downloaded and installed following the How to Install MetaTrader 4 Client Terminal
The toolbars offered in MetaTrader 4 are:
- Status Bar
- Charts Bar
- Line Studies
While the windows are:
- Market Watch
- Data Window
- Strategy Tester
We can quickly have a look at each of the toolbars and frames.
The Status Bar is a very simple bar that shows you if you are connected to the server, the profile you are using and if you hover on a candle the basic information of that candle, open, close, high, low prices, volumes and date/time.
Another basic bar that allows you to jump from one chart to another in case you have multiple charts open.
From the standard bar you can enable other windows and frames, you can open MetaEditor, submit a new order, enable or disable AutoTrading.
Charts is different from the Charts Bar, with this bar you can manage the style of the chart, the timeframe, zoom in and zoom out, arrange the charts horizontally, vertically or tile.
The timeframes bar could be actually considere as a duplicate as the same function can be done with the Charts, however sometimes it is just quicker to use the Timeframes bar to switch between the different timeframes.
Useful bar that helps you add to the charts some line studies, for example a trend line or support/resistance lines and similar.
The Market Watch is the window where you can see the securities that you can trade and their current prices, during trading hours this window is very dynamic and the prices are continuously changing. You have the option to see the current list of securities or the tick chart for a selected one.
With the Navigator you can browse between you accounts, select which one to connect, and also browse between your scripts, indicators and expert advisors.
The Data Window is not always used, it is really up to you to use it or not, some of the information available in it is already available through other tools. The Data Window simply shows the High, Low, Open, Close prices and the values of the technical indicators used when you hover on the chart.
The terminal is a very important frame and it is divided in many tabs to keep the information clean. In the terminal you can find the current list of open trades, the history, your risk exposure and margin in use, news and messages from the broker, a market to buy additional programs and tools, a journal to log all the events, the actions performed by your expert advisors, a signal section and more.
If your intention is to code and use expert advisors you will need this window, the Strategy Tester allows you to test and simulate the behaviour of an expert advisor over a determined period of time, showing you the actions and results.
As you can see MetaTrader is a complete suite for trading and remember, you have the flexibility to show, hide, resize and reposition the various elements to meet your preferences.
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