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Use MetaTrader Like a Pro with our Guide to MT4 & MT5 Shortcuts

Shortcuts.jpg

MetaTrader 4 is a powerful trading platform, 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 keyboard shortcuts.

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.

Changing the Chart Type

A really quick way to toggle between chart types is by using ALT+1, 2, or 3 as your hotkeys.

ALT+1 gives you a bar chart, as shown in the image below:

MetaTrader 4, AUD/USD Hourly Chart, 10 October 2017

Source: MetaTrader 4, AUD/USD Hourly Chart, 10 October 2017

ALT+2 gives you a candlestick chart:

MetaTrader 4, AUD/USD Hourly Chart, 10 October 2017

Source: MetaTrader 4, AUD/USD Hourly Chart, 10 October 2017

ALT+3 gives you a line chart:

MetaTrader 4, AUD/USD Hourly Chart, 10 October 2017

Source: MetaTrader 4, AUD/USD Hourly Chart, 10 October 2017

Hotkeys for Moving Through a Chart

You can move back and forth through a chart by clicking and dragging with your mouse, and clicking on icons on the toolbar to change the magnification. You may find it, however, more convenient to use keyboard shortcuts.

You can zoom out with the minus key (-) and zoom in with the "+" key (that is, SHIFT + = on the main part of your keyboard or you can just type "+" directly if you also have a number pad).

You can also use the cursor keys to scroll back and forward through time on the chart. The right cursor key scrolls forward through a chart, while the left cursor key scrolls back in time on a chart.

If you want to scroll through a chart even faster than this, you can use the Page Up and Page Down buttons. Page Up fast scrolls back in time (that is, scroll to the left on the chart), while Page Down will fast scrolls forward in time (that is, scroll to the right on the chart).

The Home key will jump to the earliest data point available on your chart. The End key will jump to the current (most recent) bar.

Shortcuts for Other Simple Operations

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. You can use it two switch between open charts by typing in the relevant symbol. You can change the period of your open chart by typing in the desired time frame, for example, M1, H4, or D1. You can also use the Fast Navigation box to jump to specific times or dates. Pressing Enter again will make the Fast Navigation box disappear.

Use CTRL+G to add a grid to your current chart.

ALT+R tiles your open charts. This arranges your windows so that you can view multiple charts at once. The image below shows an example of multiple charts that have been tiled:

MetaTrader 4, Various FX Charts, 10 October 2017

Source: MetaTrader 4, Various FX Charts, 10 October 2017

You can use the following MT4 hotkeys to open and close useful command windows:

CTRL+M opens/closes the Market Watch window. This is a window that appears below the Navigator and gives you a choice of two views, which can be selected by tabs. One tab is a tick chart of your instrument of choice. The other tab, called Symbols, is a list of instruments and prices. By clicking on an instrument in the Symbols list, you can choose what to display in the tick chart.

CTRL+N opens MT4's Navigator window.

CTRL+T is a shortcut for the Terminal window. The Terminal window appears at the bottom of the screen and has several functions, including setting up alerts, viewing account history and internal mail.

CTRL+D will open or close the Data Window. The Data Window is useful for seeing precise values for each bar with ease. The image below shows a price chart with the Data Window opened alongside it.

MetaTrader 4, AUD/USD Daily Chart, 10 October 2017

Source: MetaTrader 4, AUD/USD Daily Chart, 10 October 2017

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 (i.e., the vertical distance).

Some MT4 keyboard shortcuts 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.

MT4 Shortcuts Using the Function Keys

You can use the function keys on your keyboard to access a variety of functions in MT4 and MT5, all with a single keystroke.

F1 opens the MetaTrader user guide.

F8 opens the properties window, which allows you to change the look and feel of your chart, along with a number of other settings.

F9 opens the new order window.

F10 opens the Popup-prices window – this is a table of instrument symbols along with the Bid and Ask prices. Double clicking on an instrument will launch a new order window for it.

F11 puts the platform into the full screen mode. This takes you from the normal setup of the Navigator on the left of your price chart and the terminal below to showing just the current price chart, taking up the whole of the screen. Pressing F11 again will take you out of the full screen mode.

F12 allows you to go step-by-step through each bar of the chart. Pressing F12 will page forward through each bar of the chart, so that you can conduct precise investigations into market price action. Want to go back as well? Simple – just use Shift+F12.

Setting Hotkeys in MT4

A very useful feature in MetaTrader 4 is the ability to set your own hotkeys. This allows you to assign your own key combinations to your favourite indicators, experts, and scripts. You just need to do a small amount of preparatory configuration and then you'll find it is extremely quick and easy to launch your favourite tools.

To configure MT4 trading hotkeys in this way, find whichever indicator, expert, or script you are interested in from the Navigator and right-click on it. Then, select Set hotkey from the dropdown window, as shown in the image below:

MetaTrader 4, 10 October 2017 set hotkey

Source: MetaTrader 4, 10 October 2017

As you can see from the screenshot, you can choose between ALT and CTRL and then specify the key combination you want to use. I decided to set ALT+Q as my hotkey for the Moving Average Indicator, making it much quicker and easier for me to launch the tool I frequently 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 trying MetaTrader Supreme Edition. MT4SE is a custom plug-in offering a comprehensive selection of cutting-edge trading tools that have been developed by market professionals.

Download MT4 Supreme Edition - Forex trading platform

MetaTrader 4 Shortcuts: Conclusion

The MT4 keyboard shortcuts won't make you a better trader, but they can surely make your life a lot easier. 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 done more in less time.

Try some of them out next time you are looking at trading and see how much time you can save yourself. If you are looking to practise trading, by the way, 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 allows you to play around without risking any money. It's a useful way to polish your skills until you are ready and confident to place a real trade.


We hope you found this a useful guide to some of the MetaTrader 4 shortcuts. If you enjoyed this article, why not also have a read of the Best MT4 Expert Advisors.