MetaTrader – popular trading platform for forex trading

If you are a trader, you are probably already familiar with MetaTrader and MetaEditor, but if you are taking your first steps in the world of trading, the interface of these programs may not be entirely clear to you. Let's look at the main functions and capabilities available in MetaTrader and MetaEditor.

What is MetaTrader?

MetaTrader is one of the most popular trading platforms in the world. In other words, MetaTrader is software that will allow you to trade financial markets online.

MetaTrader is a very powerful platform because it allows you to expand your trading capabilities with additional components. You can trade from a mobile device, launch automated trading through advisors, run scripts, add indicators, subscribe to trading signals and expand the functionality of the program using the market.

MetaTrader was first developed in 2002 by MetaQuotes Software and there are two main versions: MetaTrader 4 (MT4) and MetaTrader 5 (MT5). Although MetaTrader 4 is not the latest version, it is still the most popular version among traders and brokers. Over the years, developers from all over the world have created a huge number of free and commercial components, making MetaTrader 4 an incredibly powerful and easy-to-use trading platform.

MetaTrader is a full-fledged trading terminal that includes all the necessary tools for online trading. Depending on your broker, you will be able to trade online:

  • Shares (Google, Apple, Microsoft).
  • Indices (S&P500, RTS, DAX).
  • Currencies (US dollar, euro, pound sterling).
  • Commodities (gold, silver, oil).

MetaTrader allows you to view current prices and also download historical quotes. You can open charts on different time frames to better understand the current market situation. You can also add various indicators for technical analysis.

With MetaTrader you can subscribe to trading signals and copy the trades of other traders. One of MetaTrader's most powerful features is its ability to be customized to suit your needs.

Using the MQL language, you can create your own scripts, indicators and advisors for automatic trading without your participation. You can do all this using MetaEditor.

MetaTrader 4 is available for all the most popular operating systems and can be found for:

  • Windows.
  • macOS.
  • Linux.
  • Android.
  • iOS.

Keep in mind that MetaTrader is not native to Mac and Linux, so if you want to run it on those operating systems, you'll need to implement some workarounds. For example, I use VMware Fusion, which allows you to create a virtual machine on macOS and install Windows there.

MetaTrader consists of several components, and as a trader you do not need to know them all in detail. However, it is useful to have a general idea of ​​what they are and what their functions are.

  • The client terminal is software used by traders to view prices and submit orders.
  • The MetaTrader mobile application is specially created for mobile devices such as smartphones or tablets.
  • A server is software that runs for a broker and processes requests for trading operations for placing and registering orders.
  • Administrator is a component for managing the server.
  • Manager is a component for managing customer accounts.
  • The data center performs transactions between the server and the client.

As mentioned earlier, as a trader you do not need to know all the components. You will only use the client terminal and mobile application.

How to install MetaTrader?

Getting started with MetaTrader 4 is easy. It will only take you a few minutes. You don't even have to pay anything, you can simply install the software and open a demo account to explore the trading terminal and make your first trades, as well as test the advisors or scripts you have created.

Let's take a step-by-step look at how to download and install MetaTrader 4 on a Windows computer.

The MetaTrader installer is available if you already have a trading account with your broker. The MetaTrader installer with its logo will be available to you. In my case, I'm going to show you the installation process for the Gerchik & Co broker.

Once the installer file is downloaded, double click on it to run it. If program launch control is enabled on your computer, click “Run”:

Read and accept the terms and conditions and be careful, if you click Next, the installation will continue with the default settings. Alternatively, you can click on the Settings button, then you can check and change the default settings.

By clicking on the “Settings” button, you can change:

  • The installation folder where the program will be installed on your computer.
  • The name of the software group in the Start menu.
  • Ability to disable automatic opening of the MQL5 community website.

After clicking the “Next” button, the installation will continue. Depending on your computer, this will take from a few seconds to several minutes. Once the installation is complete, the default MetaTrader screen will open and the Open Account window will appear:

If you select “About” from the Help menu, you will see the MetaTrader version, build version, and build date:

You have successfully installed MetaTrader, now you can open a demo account or a real account and start your trading.

MetaTrader Interface Overview

MetaTrader offers a complete set of trading tools and includes many windows and panels. It is very flexible as you can always hide, move and resize each of the panels to your liking. To do this, use the View menu or drag the desired panel with the mouse. All settings will be automatically saved.

Toolbars available in MetaTrader:

  • Standard.
  • Charts.
  • Graphical tools.
  • Chart period.
  • Status line.

Program windows:

  • Market Review.
  • Data window.
  • Navigator.
  • Terminal.
  • Strategy tester.
  • Chats.

Let's take a closer look at each of the panels.

Status line

The status bar shows whether you are connected to the server, and also shows the chart display profile you are using. If you hover over a candle, you will see basic information about that candle: open price, close price, high, low, volume and date and time.

Chart symbols

Another basic panel that allows you to move from one chart to another if you have multiple charts open.


In the standard panel, you can turn on or off the display of other windows and panels. You can also open MetaEditor, send a new order, enable or disable auto-trading.


Using this panel, you can control the chart display style by selecting bars, candles, or line chart. Zoom in or out. Place graphs horizontally, vertically or in parts. Enable auto-scrolling of the graph and moving the graph to the end. Add indicators to the chart. Select a timeframe and a chart display template.

Chart period

The graph period panel can actually be considered a duplicate, since the same function can be performed using the Graphs panel just discussed. However, to quickly switch between different timeframes, it will be more convenient to use the “Chart Period” panel.

Graphical tools

A useful panel that allows you to add various lines to your charts, such as trend lines or support and resistance lines.

Market Review

Market Watch is a window where you can see the trading instruments available for trading and their current prices. During trading hours this window is very dynamic and prices are constantly changing. You have the option to view the current list of symbols or select a tick chart for the selected instrument.


Using the navigator, you can view your accounts and choose which one to connect. And also see your scripts, indicators and advisors that can be used.

Data window

The data window is rarely used by traders. This contains some information that is already available through other tools. The data window shows High, Low, Open, Close prices, as well as the values ​​of technical indicators when you hover over the chart.


The terminal is a very important section of MetaTrader. It is divided into many tabs, which allows you to organize the information displayed. In the terminal you can find a current list of currently open transactions. See their opening time, transaction type, volume, symbol, price, stop loss and take profit, commission, swap and current profit.

The following tabs contain trading history, risk level and margin in use, news and messages from the broker, a market for purchasing scripts and advisors, a log for recording all events in the program, a data window for your advisors, a signals section and much more.

Strategy tester

If you intend to write your own advisors or use others, you will need a strategy tester that will allow you to test and optimize advisors over a certain period of time, collecting statistics and the results of their work.

How to change the chart display template in MetaTrader?

One of the first things I noticed when I started working with MetaTrader was the color scheme of the charts. I didn't like it right away, so I changed it.

The default color scheme in MetaTrader is the color configuration of candlesticks and charts that comes with your Metatrader client. The screenshot shows that the default color scheme is a black background and green candles.

It is important to understand the difference between a color scheme and a template. In Metatrader, a template is a group of settings applied to charts.

So we can say that the template includes:

  • Color scheme.
  • Indicators and their parameters.
  • Advisors and their parameters.
  • Chart display style.

You can change the default color scheme that is applied when opening a new chart in MetaTrader.

To change the default colors, you need to right-click on the graph and select “Properties”:

I prefer to work with black candles on a white background, so I choose the Black on White template.

Once you're happy with how your graphs look, you can right-click on the graph, select “Template,” and then click “Save Template.” If you want the template to be the default template for every new chart you open, name the template Default.

How to attach an indicator to a chart in MetaTrader?

Adding an indicator to a chart in MetaTrader is very simple.

Indicators are very useful tools for technical analysis. One of the most popular indicators is the moving average, which shows the average price of a trading instrument over a certain period of time.

Open one or more charts in MetaTrader. Select the chart to which you want to add an indicator, click on the “List of Indicators” icon, select a group (in this case “Trend”), then “Moving Average”:

Select options for using the indicator:

Next you will see the indicator attached to the chart:

You can change indicator parameters by right-clicking on the indicator and selecting properties:

To remove an indicator, right-click on it and select “Delete Indicator”:

If you have multiple indicators attached to a chart, you can right-click on one of the indicators and select “List of Indicators”:

From here you can see a list of attached indicators and edit or remove one or more of them:

How to run an advisor in MetaTrader?

An advisor is a robot or program that performs automated tasks when attached to a chart. The robot can trade, send notifications, create reports, record information and much more. Let's figure out how to run an advisor on a chart in MetaTrader.

It is very important to remember that:

  • Only one advisor can work on one chart at a time. In other words, you cannot attach multiple advisors to one chart at the same time.
  • One advisor can work on several charts.
  • One terminal can simultaneously launch several experts if they work on different charts.

Adding an advisor to a chart is very simple. First you need the ex4 file. If you created your own Expert Advisor, saved and compiled the file, it can be found in the Experts folder. In our example, we will use the advisor test-01, which displays the Ask price for the currency pair to which it is tied.

Find our advisor in the navigator:

Select the chart you want to attach the advisor to, then drag it onto the chart. A window with information about the advisor will open, in which you can change and configure its parameters (depending on the advisor).

Alternatively, you can also right-click on the Expert Advisor and select Attach to Chart:

A very important parameter, individual for each advisor, is the “Allow advisor to trade” item. If this item is selected, the advisor will be allowed to submit, modify and close orders:

When the EA is running, you can notice whether it is enabled for trading or not. A happy face in the top right corner of the screen means the EA can trade, a sad face means the EA can't trade.

The button to enable/disable auto trading in MetaTrader plays a very important role. The “Auto-trading” button can disable auto-trading at the terminal level, meaning that no advisor will be able to trade.

If you want to remove an advisor from the chart, right-click on the advisor on the chart, select advisors, and then click Remove. Also here you can select “Properties” to change the advisor settings:

How to set up email alerts in MetaTrader?

When you work with trading automation, it is very important to receive notifications about the performance of your advisors. Let's look at how you can set up email alerts in MetaTrader.

Trading automation means that your computer (or VPS) will work without your participation most of the time. In reality, achieving 100% automation is difficult. Even if you achieve 100% automation, it is still important to receive some notifications and monitor the work of your expert.

Some examples of useful notifications:

  • Order execution.
  • Disconnect from the server.
  • Alert about some detected patterns.
  • Exceeding the used margin limit.
  • Report on trading activities for a certain period of time.

These are just some of the options, but there are many others that may encourage you to set up email notifications using the MetaTrader trading platform.

If you want to send a notification from an expert or indicator in MetaTrader, the first thing you need to do is configure your email settings. To do this, you will need your SMTP server details.

Depending on your email service provider, you will need to find your SMTP server address, while for the username and password you will need to enter your email details.

When you have the necessary data for configuration, go to “Tools” -> “Settings” -> “Mail” and check the “Allow” checkbox, then fill in all the fields with the necessary data. Once completed, you can test the entered settings by clicking the “Test” button. The log in the terminal will show that the message was sent and you should receive an email.