Introduction to MetaTrader 4 Platform Interface
The following screen shot below shows the main MetaTrader 4 interface. As a beginner trying to learn how to execute orders in the online currency market, the main tool for trading the market is the MetaTrader 4 platform software. This is the software that you will connect to your broker with and execute currency transactions and monitor your account balance.
The MetaTrader 4 is provided for free through the various Forex broker websites. This software looks like the example below:
The Main Areas of this platform as shown above are:
- Navigation Menus
- Chart Window
- Market Watch
- Connection Bars
For this tutorial we shall look at a brief introduction for each of these:
1. Navigation Menus
The navigation menus are:
These are the main navigation menus that can be used to navigate the MetaTrader 4 software. As a beginner you can start by just clicking any of these navigation menus to familiarize yourself with the various buttons that are arranged as sub menus within these navigation menus.
These navigation menus will be discussed in details in the next tutorials about navigation menus.
2. Tool Bars
The tool bars are used to manipulate charts, either by placing indicators, line studies, change time frames and load a template from a list of saved templates.
These tool bars will be discussed on other tutorials that will outline each button on this tool bar and how to add and customize these tool bars.
3. Chart Window
This is the main area where currency charts are displayed and one can analyze the trend direction of a currency whether up or down, place indicators for technical analysis and even place orders from these charts.
Navigator will contain information about trading accounts, whether demo or real, this window will also have a list of all the MT4 indicators as well as Expert Advisors and scripts.
A trader can choose which account to login by expanding the Accounts menu, choose an indicator by expanding the indicator menu or choose an Expert Advisor by expanding the Expert Advisor menu.
5. Market Watch
Market watch is used to show streaming quotes for currency pairs. This can list as many quotes provided by your Forex broker or a few selected by a trader. To save internet bandwidth, right click inside the market watch window and select “Hide All”, so as to hide the currencies that you are not transacting and save on internet bandwidth.
This is the window that is like the bank account transaction area for your currency transactions, on this window you can view your balance, profit and losses statement, equity, margin used also retrieve a copy of all your transactions history.
This will also list all open transactions and calculate all the profit and loss in real time as the currencies move up or down.
7. Connection Bar
Red bars are for no connection, green bars show that there is connection to the servers and transaction orders can be placed. These connection bars should always be green when one logged into their demo or live account.
These main areas form the MetaTrader 4 interface and will be the main areas to be covered in detail in the next tutorials. For now it is best to download MT4 software and familiarize yourself with the software interface.
Why Forex Software is Required for Placing Currency Transactions with Brokers
Forex platform is the software that is used to access the currency market and analyze these currencies using technical analysis. There are various reasons why one requires to use a good platform. A good platform can determine if a as a trader you make a profit or not.
So why does a trader need a good platform:
To connect to the Trading Server:
To place an order one needs to use a platform that will connect to the trading servers of their broker and allow them to open and close orders. Good platforms will connect with ease to the brokers' servers and allow traders to place orders at any time from their computer.
To analyze charts and currencies using technical analysis
To place a buy or sell order one needs to first analyze the direction of a currency pair. This is why all good platforms provide technical tools such as price charts, technical indicators and various different time frames from which one can analyze price moves using the time frames of their choice.
From the above platform interface, the summary of all information required by a trader is provided on this interface
- Connection - connection to the broker servers
- Charts - price graphs that display prices
- Toolbars - toolbars to add tools and technical analysis indicators
- Market Watch - for displaying available financial instruments
- Data window - provides account information and other indicator data
- Exchange rates - shows current market price of a currency pair
- Menu bar - Shows all menu items on the platforms