BASIC METATRADER INFORMATION

 

This document is not intended to instruct you on the use of the metatrader platform.  You should use the documentation included with metatrader, along with a “Metatrader Tips and Tricks” publication that is available separately through Forex Trading Coaches.  But there are a few things you should understand about metatrader charts in order to understand how the MACD 3 Forex Charts Pro Enhancements™ work.

Performance Tip

First, an important performance tip:  From the Tools menu choose Options, then in the options window that is displayed choose the “Charts” tab.  Unless you are trying to conserve disk space, in “Max Bars In History” put in a nice high number like 2,000,000.  This will allow you to compile lots of price history over time.  However, in the “Max Bars In Chart” we recommend you only put 14400.  The reason is, that this will limit your charts DISPLAY to only 14,400 candles each (10 days on the 1 min chart and still 1.5++ years on the 1 hour chart.  The reason for this is when you apply an indicator to a chart it executes the program code once for each candle on the chart.  When you start up metatrader, it executes every line of code from every indicator for every candle on every chart (you get the idea?).  If your computer is really slow, you can adjust this number even lower for better performance.  However, if someday you decide you want to load up a bunch of history for some back testing, you can increase the number temporarily to load more candles on your charts.  We recommend keeping this number low when you’re trading live. It greatly increases your computer’s performance.

Indicators

An indicator is a program that either paints lines, dots or arrows directly on the chart, or creates a secondary window under the chart with indicator data within it.  Examples of indicators are, Moving Averages, MACD, Stochastic, etc.  You can apply an indicator to the active chart by choosing it from the “Indicators” menu in metatrader.  All of the Forex Trading Coaches indicators are in the “Indicators -> Custom” submenu and all start with “ftc_”.  However, we have created templates that will set up the trading environment that you will be using during your training and trading.  These templates automatically apply a variety of indicators to your chart so that you do not have to set them up one at a time.

Some indicators have options that you can set to change their default behavior.  For now, you should just use the default settings and instructions on how to change options on indicators will be covered more in the future.

Templates

Templates are how metatrader stores the way that a chart is set up.  It stores all the settings of the look and feel of the chart (background color, bars vs. candles, candle colors, etc) as well as storing what indicators are being used on the charts.  There are two basic templates that you will initially use.  ftc_blank.tpl is the template that sets up the basic look and feel of the chart along with several indicators that enhance the look and functionality of the chart.  This is the template you would apply to a chart if you wanted to “start from scratch” and build a chart with your own indicator choices.  You should build whatever charts you want to personally use starting from this point. 

For your trading environment and your training, you will use the ftc_default.tpl template.  We have overwritten metatrader’s default template with these settings so that every time you open a chart, the ftc_default.tpl template settings will automatically be used.  If you do want to “start from scratch” and build your own chart for some other purpose, simply right-click on the chart, go to the template submenu, and choose ftc_blank  from the submenu.