Check Out These Useful Metatrader 4 (MT4) Hotkeys & Shortcuts!
If you’ve been trading Forex for a while, you’re probably pretty familiar with the standard Forex trading platform, MetaTrader 4 (MT4). It was released by Metaquotes in 2005 and is by far the most popular Forex trading platform.
In fact, Metaquotes has since released its successor, Metatrader 5, but it was not received as well by the Forex trading community. As a result, the majority of brokers still use MetaTrader 4.
Although there are some limitations to MT4, this free and simple trading platform is powerful and versatile enough for most Forex traders. This is due, in part, to its thriving community of coders for the many different indicators, scripts, and Expert Advisors, which add so much functionality to the platform.
Whether or not it will be enough for you really depends on what type of trading system you are using, and how far you are willing to go for a small advantage. For those of us that are sticking with MT4 for now, the useful hotkeys and shortcuts below are a must.
Check Out These Useful Metatrader 4 Hotkeys & Shortcuts!
These Are The MT4 Hotkeys That I Use The Most
Ctrl+E – enable/disable attached Expert Advisor
Ctrl+I – open the “Indicators List” window
Ctrl+M – open/close the “Market Watch” window
Ctrl+N – open/close the “Navigator” window
Ctrl+T – open/close the “Terminal” window
Ctrl+Y – show/hide period separators
F7 – open the properties window of the Expert Advisor that you have attached to your chart
F9 – open the “New Order” window
F11 – enable/disable full-screen mode
F12 – move the chart ahead by one candlestick/bar
Shift+F12 – move the chart back by one candlestick/bar
– – zoom the chart out
+ – zoom the chart in (must use with the Shift key)
Numpad 5 – restore automatic chart scale after it’s been changed or return the chart into visible range (if the scale is defined)
F5 – switch to the next profile
Shift+F5 – switch to the previous profile
Delete – delete all selected graphical objects
Other Useful MT4 Hotkeys
← – scroll the chart to the left
→ – scroll the chart to the right
↑ – fast scroll to the left or scroll up (if the scale is defined)
↓ – fast scroll to the right or scroll down (if the scale is defined)
Page Up – fast scroll to the left
Page Down – fast scroll to the right
Home – move the chart to the start (earliest record you have downloaded)
End – move the chart to the end (current price)
Backspace – delete the last object added to the chart
Enter – open/close fast navigation window
F1 – open the user guide
F2 – open the “History Center” window
F3 – open the “Global Variables” window
F4 – open MetaEditor
F6 – open the “Tester” window (must have an Expert Advisor attached to the chart)
F8 – open the chart properties window
F10 – open the “Popup Prices” window
Alt+1 – display chart as bars
Alt+2 – display chart as candlesticks
Alt+3 – display chart as a broken line
Alt+W – open the chart management window
Alt+F4 – close Metatrader 4
Alt+Backspace – undo last deleted object(s)
Ctrl+A – revert all indicator window heights to default
Ctrl+B – open the “Objects List” window
Ctrl+D – open/close the “Data Window”
Ctrl+F – enable crosshair
Ctrl+G – show/hide grid
Ctrl+H – show/hide OHLC line (top left)
Ctrl+L – show/hide volumes
Ctrl+O – open the “Setup” window
Ctrl+P – print the chart
Ctrl+R – open/close the “Tester” window
Ctrl+W – close the chart window
Ctrl+F6 – switch to next chart window
Some Helpful MT4 Shortcuts That I Use
The new versions of MetaTrader 4 allow you to drag and drop your stop loss and take profit levels. Previously, you had to use an Expert Advisor to add this function.
In order to see your stop loss and take profit levels, use Ctrl+O or go to Tools –> Options. Select the Charts tab and check the box that says “Show trade levels”. Now you can see your levels, making it easier to drag them.
I also like to check the box directly underneath that says “Use ‘Alt’ key to drag trade levels”. With this box checked, you have to hit the “Alt” key to activate the drag and drop feature in MT4.
Note: I use the “Alt” key to drag and drop my levels so that I don’t accidentally move my trade levels while I’m clicking and dragging other objects on my charts.
This next shortcut is commonly used, but helpful if you don’t already know it. You can use “Ctrl” to duplicate any object on your chart. Simply double click the object to select it, then hold the “Ctrl” key and drag. This technique is especially useful if you use multiple colors when drawing objects (like trend lines and support/resistance levels).
You probably already know this next shortcut, but it is essential. You can click in the price grid (on the right of the chart) and drag down to shrink the scale of the chart. This can be helpful for placing stop losses, take profits, support/resistance levels, etc… that are outside the current automatic range of the chart.
To return the chart scale to default, simply click and drag up on the price grid. If you use automatic chart scaling, you can just hit Numpad 5.
These are the most useful MetaTrader 4 (MT4) hotkeys and shortcuts that I use on a regular basis, and some others that I’ve used before. If you found this article useful, please share it with other traders, and feel free to suggest any hotkeys or shortcuts that I’ve missed. Good luck and happy trading!
Market Size and Liquidity: Unlike the New York Stock Exchange, the forex market is not centrally managed.The Forex market operates over-the-counter or through "OTC" or "interbank" transactions. It is connected to banks through an electronic network so it is open 24 hours a day and can be traded.This means that the spot forex market is spread all over the world which has no central position. It can happen anywhere, even at the top of Mount Fiji. The Forex OTC market is one of the largest and most popular financial markets in the world. A large number of people and organizations from all over the world trade here.The table below shows the top 10 active currencies. Since 2 currencies are involved in the transaction, the sum of the percentage on the chart will be 200% instead of 100%.The dollar is the most traded currency, accounting for 84.9 percent of all transactions. The euro ranks 2nd 39.1 percent. And the Japanese currency, the yen, is 3rd 19.0 percent. You can see that the major currencies are at the top of the list.Because the two currencies have their own total currency instead of 200 percent 100 percent according to the percentage involved in each transaction. The Dollar is the King As you may have noticed, we often refer to the USD. If the USD is half of every currency pair, and the major is 75%, then it is necessary to look at the US dollar. In fact, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the US dollar occupies about 62% of the world's official foreign exchange reserves! Because most investors, traders, and the central bank reserve it, they keep an eye on the US dollar.There are more important reasons why the US dollar plays a central role in the forex market: * The United States is the largest economy in the world. * The most saving currency in the world is the US dollar. * The United States is the largest and most liquid financial market in the world * The United States is the most stable political system in the world. * The United States has the most powerful military power in the world. * US dollars are the medium of exchange for many cross-border transactions. For example, the price of oil is in US dollars. So if Mexico wants to buy oil from Saudi Arabia, they can do so in US dollars. If Mexico does not have dollars, they must first sell dollars and buy dollars. Speculation One important thing to note about the Forex market is that where commercial and financial transactions are part of the trading volume, most currency trading takes place based on speculation. Elsewhere, most trading volumes are done through intra-price price buy/sell. The trading volume of speculators is estimated to be more than 90%. According to the Forex market, this means liquidity - the amount of buying and selling at a given time. It happens in large quantities. And it makes it very easy for someone to buy and sell currency. From an investor's point of view, liquidity is very important because it will determine how easily the price trend can change within a given period of time. Where the Forex market is relatively very fluid, currency pairs and market depths may change over time. I will know about this in more detail later.
Some traders across the planet...no, actually, millions of traders across the planet are not fairing very well. They are imploding in trade after trade because they are unable to do what it takes to be consistently successful traders. They are failing to follow-through in some of the most fundamental ways, by lacking the discipline to stop violating trading rules and keep their promises. Regrettably, most of these traders will not last. On the other hand, there are a group of traders who are hanging on by the thinnest of margins and clutching their life-support vests as they barely navigate the mine fields of minutia that are their trading plans, and through sheer will power they are breaking even. Unfortunately, consistent profit is eluding them. In other words, they are just getting by; they are surviving. This, of course, is not necessarily a bad thing. As pointed out above, the number of traders that are blowing up accounts on a regular basis is quite a bit higher; but when you are simply surviving there is little consolation in the fact that you are losing at a slightly lower rate than those who are washing out. Then there is the trader who, though trading for only a short time is getting extraordinary results. They have gone well beyond just surviving to trade another day and, in fact, are trading in an exemplary fashion by maintaining a fierce focus on what-matters-most, preparing their mindset to remain in the Now of the trade, executing the process solely and not emotionally investing in the outcome. They also have a stranglehold on the fact that markets are random and cannot be predicted.What exactly is "surviving"? The Oxford Dictionary defines surviving as, "the ability to continue to exist, especially in spite of danger or hardship." Actually, surviving can be a fine quality; that is, to be diligent despite the issues and challenges that abound in the trade; to never give up and maintain a scrappy attitude in the face of drawdowns. Being in a survival mode can provide you the time interval that you need to engage your trading plan and eventually take you from just surviving, to posting the trading results that you want on a consistent basis. So, let me be clear there is no shame in surviving.However, what does this mean for you? Is that all that you're doing? Are you simply hanging on while doing the same things over and over while expecting a different result? In such an instance, you are not truly helping yourself. Since trading is so personal and reliant upon individual skill sets and mind states, by all accounts you are the only thing standing between you and consistent trading success.So, let's take a closer look at what it means to "thrive" in the trade. The definition of thrive according to the Oxford Dictionary is to "grow or develop well or vigorously." In other words, to thrive means you are taking advantage of every challenge and comfort zone compromise to go a little further, to learn a little more, to raise your performance standards a little higher.Free Trading WorkshopThriving means that you are continuously monitoring your mindset Tweet: Thriving means you are continuously monitoring your mindset. https://ctt.ec/qetrd+ in order to flush out discordant thoughts and feelings so you are aligned in body, mind and emotions going in the same direction and for the same goals. It also means that you are, each day and in every way, searching for new ways to maximize your trading EQ (emotional intelligence -managing fear, greed and other debilitating negative emotions) and IQ (mental intelligence - managing errant negative thinking that eventually leads to bad behaviors) so that you remain on purpose, on task and on top of each step of your trading plan and execution. To thrive means that you are documenting all of the issues that emerge in your trading process and that you are deconstructing that documentation to identify patterns of thinking, feeling and doing that are presenting the roadblocks to consistent outcomes. This is what we teach in Mastering the Mental Game online and on-location courses. Ask your Online Trading Academy representative for more information. Also, get my book, From Pain to Profit: Secrets of the Peak Performance Trader.
If you lived in the United States before the year 2000, the thought of yellow and orange-jacketed traders screaming at the top of their lungs across a rainbow of other-colored jackets, slips of paper flying everywhere, is probably something you associate with markets and exchanges. These stressful environments were synonymous with the notion of markets. Emotions ran high, and depending on the exchange – one may even be risking their own personal safety by entering ‘the floor.’Times have changed quite a bit; many exchanges exist only in cyberspace, no longer seeing the need for physical manifestations of their trading activity. Even the New York Stock Exchange; have you seen it lately? If not, just turn on CNBC, it's not like it used to be (quite a bit more quiet these days).But one thing that hasn’t changed is the fact that people love fast markets. Only now they mostly exist through the Internet, and now they are available to anyone willing to risk their money – not only the select few that could afford or draw on family connections for a ‘seat on the floor.’ When a big news event happens; or even perhaps a news event driven by an economic catalyst, like the 2008 Financial Collapse, markets can attempt to price in the newest data so fast that prices move at breakneck speeds. For the poor investors that are in long positions in mutual funds, the hope of stemming the bleeding before market close doesn't exist. They have to wait and watch the devastation until the end of the trading day so that they redeem out of their mutual funds.But to the trader that can take a short position just as quickly as ‘hitting the bid,’ these ‘panic’ periods present quite a bit of opportunity. Prices are moving fast and pips can stack up quickly – if you are on the right side of the trade. The big question is if this is something that fits in your trading plan?What type of trader are you?By many accounts – fundamentals and news events create price changes, thereby – fundamentals dictate what prices will do. Technical analysis on the other hand, analyzes past price movements, showing us what prices have done. And sometimes, what price has done in the past can help us build a game plan for the future; looking to those fundamental catalysts to create big price movements (the hybrid fundamental-technical trader).The alternative approach is the trader that analyzes those same past events, looking to avoid those fundamental catalysts, hoping that the technical levels from the past hold true (the technical-range trader).That’s really all there is. A pure fundamentals trader wouldn’t be looking at charts at all, and a ‘technical-breakout/trend’ trader would really be, in many ways, looking to fundamentals to continue substantiation of those trending/breakout conditions, so they wouldn’t really be a ‘pure technical’ trader.Considering the fact that ‘panic’ markets can create rapid price movements in a short period of time, which can just as easily work against the trader as it can for them, it behooves one to know as much about their risk profile before wagering their hard-earned capital.So, if you consider yourself a ‘pure technical’ trader, and have no interest whatsoever in following or keeping up with the news – I advise you to attempt to avoid panic markets. This can often be done by setting stops at major levels of support (or resistance in the case of short positions) so that when we do get those big breakouts – they don’t work against you too heavily.For all those that dare to tread in fast markets – read on; and we will share with you some ways that experienced traders approach these volatile scenarios.How to Trade Fast MarketsThe same question was broached in the article ‘How to Trade Forex Majors Like the Euro during Active Hours,’ and the recommendation to trade breakout strategies could not be more on point.As David shows in the article, increased activity often means larger and potentially more erratic price movements. And because these movements can be more erratic, it can greatly affect the trader’s ability to forecast price changes. The chart below, taken from the aforementioned article, shows how widely price swings can magnify on EURUSD during the London and the London/US overlap session (often considered the most ‘active’ period in the FX market). Prepared by David Rodriguez, from Here is How to Trade Forex Majors Like Euro During Active HoursNow if we consider that panic markets often have an external stimuli; whether it be a natural disaster like what was seen in Japan in 2011, or a man-made disaster like what was seen at Bear Sterns and Lehman Brothers in 2008 – we have to know the market movements can be even more exaggerated, meaning price movements can become even more magnified, and forecasting can become even more difficult.Why trade breakouts to address panic?Because price movements can become greatly magnified while also becoming more erratic is the reason why trading breakouts is the best prescription for handling volatility. If we happen to be on the right side of the movement, price can trend for a continued period of time, giving us far greater potential profit targets if we are right. If we’re on the wrong side of the movement (which will probably happen more than half of the time), then we can cut our losses early before the pair continues against us in a move that could potentially drain our accounts.A critical aspect of trading breakouts is the necessity of strong risk-reward ratios, such as the trader risking 20 pips, but looking for 100 pips if correct. This could be expressed as a 1-to-5 risk-to-reward ratio (20 pips to the stop-loss order – 100 pips to the profit target = 1:5 risk-to-reward).This is what can allow rampant volatility to actually work in your favor.With a risk-reward ratio so aggressively on the trader’s side, one would need to be right only 2 out of 5 times to gleam a net profit. If a trader was right 40% of the time with a 1-to-5 risk-to-reward ratio, they could be looking at a handsome profit (2 winning trades at 100 pips each = 200 pips won, 3 losing trades at 20 pips each = 60 pips lost, net profit of 140 pips (200-60) not including commissions, slippage, etc).But what if the trader above was only right on one out of five trades? Well, they are still looking at a net profit (once again, not including spreads, slippage, etc). One winning trade at 100 pips only gives up 80 to 4 losers at 20 pips each, leaving a net profit of 20 pips; and that is with a winning ratio of 20%.How to Trade BreakoutsAn easy way of looking at breakout strategies is to simply think of ranges – and then reverse it.While range-traders look to buy support and sell resistance, breakout traders await breaks of resistance to buy (in anticipation of price continuing to rise now that resistance is broken) and looking to sell when support is breached (once again, looking for price to continue heading lower).There are numerous ways of identifying support and resistance levels to be used for breakout strategies. Some traders don’t even use indicators, electing, instead, to simply analyze and build their strategies off of price, and price action. Some traders rather use strategies based on indicators like Price Channels to point out these support and resistance levels. Many of the various Pivot Point offerings or Fibonacci studies can help in this same regard as well.Whatever the mechanism, it is important to realize that complete elimination of false breakouts is totally impossible. What often makes or breaks a breakout strategy is money, risk, and trade management.This is a hazard sport, as it can be a regular occurrence for price to break support (or resistance) briefly enough to trigger our, only to pop back into its prior range. This can be frustrating for breakout traders, and has even earned the title of the ‘false breakout.’This topic was explored in greater detail by Walker England in the article ‘Can False Breakouts be Prevented?’Not to spoil the article, which you should absolutely read, but the answer to the question is ‘No.’ False breakouts, unfortunately, cannot be prevented.To the trader looking to be more conservative, additional ‘wiggle room’ can be given to the entry in an effort to attempt to decrease the chances of caught by a false breakout.But preventing false breakouts is impossible due to the simple fact that no trader in the world knows what will happen next. So when trading panic markets, protect your trade, protect your account, and trade your plan.