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Use MetaTrader Like a Pro With MT4 & MT5 Shortcuts

Reading time: 12 minutes

MetaTrader 4 and MetaTrader 5 are powerful trading platforms, loaded with many useful features. The various tools can be launched via the on-screen menus, but you may find it quicker and easier to launch them using MetaTrader keyboard shortcuts, or hotkeys.

MetaTrader shortcuts, or hotkeys, are a key or a set of keys that allow you to perform previously defined actions more quickly. These actions can also be performed using your mouse, but by using shortcuts you can reduce the steps and optimise your experience, which means you can spend more time actually trading.

This article will reveal some of the more useful MT4 and MT5 hotkeys. We'll also take a look at how you can set up your own bespoke shortcuts.

Before we get started, though, if you don't already have MetaTrader, just click the banner below to download MetaTrader 5 for free so you can follow the steps below in real time.

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An introduction to MetaTrader 4 and 5

If you're new to MetaTrader 4 and MetaTrader 5, it makes sense to get your bearings before we dive into our favourite MetaTrader shortcuts. So, with this in mind, here are some introductory MetaTrader articles:

You can also see a walkthrough of the platform in this video tutorial:

MetaTrader Hotkey for Changing Chart Types

MetaTrader allows you to use line, bar and candlestick charts. A quick way to toggle between chart types is by using ALT+1, 2, or 3 as your hotkeys.

Typing 'ALT+1' provides you with a bar chart, as shown in the image below:

metatrader shortcuts

Source: MetaTrader 4 - AUD/USD Hourly Chart. Charts for financial instruments in this article are for illustrative purposes and does not constitute trading advice or a solicitation to buy or sell any financial instrument provided by Admiral Markets (CFDs, ETFs, Shares). Past performance is not necessarily an indication of future performance.

Typing in ALT+2 will provide you with a candlestick chart:

metatrader shortcuts

Source: MetaTrader 4 - AUD/USD Hourly Chart. Charts for financial instruments in this article are for illustrative purposes and does not constitute trading advice or a solicitation to buy or sell any financial instrument provided by Admiral Markets (CFDs, ETFs, Shares). Past performance is not necessarily an indication of future performance.

Typing ALT+3 provides you with a line chart:

metatrader shortcuts

Source: MetaTrader 4 - AUD/USD Hourly Chart. Charts for financial instruments in this article are for illustrative purposes and does not constitute trading advice or a solicitation to buy or sell any financial instrument provided by Admiral Markets (CFDs, ETFs, Shares). Past performance is not necessarily an indication of future performance.

MetaTrader Hotkeys for Moving Through a Chart

You can go back and forth on a graph by clicking and dragging with the mouse and clicking the icons on the toolbar to change the magnification. However, you may find it more convenient to use the MetaTrader quick menu.

  • Zoom: You can zoom out with SHIFT plus the minus (-) key and zoom in with the (+) key, or just type + or - directly on the number pad.
  • Time scroll:
    • Use the cursor keys to move back and forth in time on the graph. The right cursor key moves forward through a graph, while the left key moves backward in time on a graph.
    • If you want to scroll through a graph even faster, you can use the mouse wheel. If you scroll up, it will move you back in time (i.e. you move to the left in the figure), if you scroll down, you move forward in time (i.e. you scroll right on the graph).
    • Use the 'Page Up and Page Down' buttons to scroll even faster - 'Page Up' scrolls back in time, while 'Page Down' scrolls forward.
  • Jump to the end of the chart: The HOME key will jump to the oldest data point available on your graph. The END key will jump to the current (most recent) bar.

MetaTrader Hotkeys For Other Simple Operations

Fast Navigation box

Pressing the 'Enter' key opens the 'Fast Navigation' box. This is a small box that appears on the bottom left hand-side of the price chart and has multiple uses.

metatrader shortcuts

The fast navigation box can be used to:

  • You can use it to switch between two open graphics by writing over the corresponding symbol.
  • You can change the period of your open chart by writing the desired time, for example, M1, H4 or D1.
  • You can also use a quick navigation graphic to jump to specific times or dates.

Pressing ENTER again will clear the quick navigation box.

Tile your charts

ALT + R sorts your windows so that you can see multiple charts at once. The image below shows an example of several charts that have been tiled:

metatrader shortcuts

Source: MetaTrader 4 - FX Currency Pair Charts

Using command windows

The following MT4 hotkeys can be used to open and close useful command windows:

  • CTRL + M : open / close the Market Watch window. This is a window that appears below the browser and allows you to choose between two views, which can be selected using tabs. A tab is a tick table for the instrument of your choice. The other tab, called Symbols, is a list of instruments and prices. By clicking an instrument in the Symbols list, you can choose what to display on the tick chart.
  • CTRL + N - Opens the MT4 browser window.
  • CTRL + T : is a shortcut for the terminal window. The terminal window appears at the bottom of the screen and has various functions, including alert settings, account history, and internal mail.
  • CTRL + D : Will open or close the data window. The data window is useful for viewing accurate values for each bar with ease. The image below shows a price chart with the data window open next to it.

metatrader shortcuts

Source: MetaTrader 4 - AUD/USD Daily Chart. Charts for financial instruments in this article are for illustrative purposes and does not constitute trading advice or a solicitation to buy or sell any financial instrument provided by Admiral Markets (CFDs, ETFs, Shares). Past performance is not necessarily an indication of future performance.

Using the crosshairs object

You can call up the crosshairs object with the 'CTRL+F' shortcut. Clicking in one spot and then in a second spot with the crosshairs will show you a count of the number of bars between the two points. This also displays the value in pips between the two points.

Keyboard shortcuts from other programs

Some MetaTrader hotkeys are standard ones that you may already know from similar uses in other applications.

For example, if you want to print a chart, the shortcut is 'CTRL+P'. 'Backspace' will delete the most recently added object from your chart. If you accidentally delete an object from a chart, you can use 'CTRL+Z' to undo the deletion (ALT+Backspace will perform the same undo function). 'CTRL+S' will save the current chart.

If you're using these hotkeys for the first time, we recommend that you always carry out these types of tests in a demo account, with virtual funds, in order to be able to practice calmly as you do not have any type of risk.

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MetaTrader Hotkeys that Use the Function Keys

You can use the function keys on your keyboard to access a variety of functions on MT4 and MT5 at the touch of a key.

  • F1: Opens the MetaTrader user guide.
  • F8: Opens the properties window, which allows you to change the appearance of your graph, along with other settings.
  • F9: open the new order window.
  • F10: opens the quote window. This is a table of instrument symbols along with bid and ask prices. Double-clicking on an instrument will open the new order window.
  • F11: Puts the platform in full screen mode. You will go from having the screen with the graph, the browser, terminal, etc. to only show the current price graph, occupying the entire screen. Pressing F11 again will take you out of full screen mode.
  • F12: allows you to go forward through each bar of the graph. This informs you about the market price. You want to go back? easy: press Shift + F12 .

Setting New Hotkeys in MT4

A very useful feature in MetaTrader 4 is the ability to configure your own hotkeys or shortcuts. This allows you to assign your own key combinations to your favorite indicators, expert advisors and scripts. You only need to configure the quick MT4 shortcuts according to your tastes.

To configure the MT4 hotkeys in this way, find the indicator, expert or script that interests you from the browser and right-click on it. Then select "set hotkey" in the drop-down window, as shown in the image below:

MetaTrader 4, 10 October 2017 set hotkey

Source: MetaTrader 4 - Setting hotkeys in MT4

As you can see from the screenshot, you can choose between 'ALT' and 'CTRL' and then specify the key combination you want to use. In this example, the trader decided to set ALT + Q as their hotkey for the Moving Average Indicator, making it much quicker and easier for them to launch the tool for frequential use. So you can see that there are many useful tools in MT4 that can be launched very quickly with just a combination of keystrokes.

But what if you want to expand the functionality of your platform even further? One of the key strengths that lies behind MT4's popularity is that it allows users to program their own indicators and Expert Advisors with the MQL4 language. There are a vast number of custom indicators available for download from the MT4 community.

The quality varies, however, and you may prefer to expand your tools in a single download from a trusted source. If so, you should consider downloading MetaTrader Supreme Edition. MTSE is a custom plugin for MT4 and MT5, offering a comprehensive selection of cutting-edge trading tools that have been developed by market professionals.

Download MetaTrader 5 Supreme Edition

MetaTrader 4 & MetaTrader 5 Shortcuts: Conclusion

MT4 and MT5 keyboard shortcuts won't make you a better trader, but they can make you a more efficient trader, which will empower you to seize every opportunity.

Once you become familiar with them, you will find that they can save you a lot of time, making it quicker and more convenient to perform your chart studies. This means you can get more done in less time. Try some of them out next time you are planning your trading strategies, and see how much time you could save yourself.

If you are aiming to practise trading, the best way to explore new methods and try out your trading strategies is with a demo trading account. Demo trading gives you access to real live prices and the functionality of MT4, but also enables you to trade without risking any real money. It's a useful way to polish your skills until you are ready and confident to place a real trade. We hope that you have found this to be a useful guide for MetaTrader 4 and MetaTrader 5 shortcuts.

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About Admiral Markets

Admiral Markets is a multi-award winning, globally regulated Forex and CFD broker, offering trading on over 8,000 financial instruments via the world's most popular trading platforms: MetaTrader 4 and MetaTrader 5. Start trading today!

This material does not contain and should not be construed as containing investment advice, investment recommendations, an offer of or solicitation for any transactions in financial instruments. Please note that such trading analysis is not a reliable indicator for any current or future performance, as circumstances may change over time. Before making any investment decisions, you should seek advice from independent financial advisors to ensure you understand the risks.


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