MetaTrader 4 Tips for Efficient Trading: Shortcuts and Hidden Features

MetaTrader 4 Tips for Efficient Trading: Shortcuts and Hidden Features

Reading time: 8 minutes

Whether you’re a seasoned trader or just starting out, MetaTrader 4 (MT4) can feel like learning a new language. 

Graphs, abbreviations, symbols - it’s normal to feel overwhelmed. 

But you’ll enjoy a smooth and efficient trading experience once you grasp its many functions, shortcuts and hidden features.

What is MetaTrader 4? 

MT4 is a popular trading platform well known for its capabilities and user-friendly design. The platform houses multiple technical indicators, a comprehensive list of drawing tools and a wide selection of financial instruments, including popular Currency Pairs, individual Stocks, Indices, Commodities, Digital Currencies, and more.

Traders can also customise the tools to suit their needs and access market info in real time to stay updated on the latest market trends. 

Keyboard Shortcuts

1. New Order Window: Press F9 to open the New Order window, a straightforward control centre that allows traders and investors to place buy and sell orders using a number of different order types. From here, you can also set protective stop-loss orders and take-profit orders.

2. To access the Trading Terminal, press Ctrl+T directly on the MT4 platform. From here, traders can view active/open trades and any unrealised profit/loss, as well as trading account history and many other features.

3. To obtain access to the Client Terminal’s User Guide, you can press F1. A pop-up box will appear, offering information and assistance on many subjects. Take this opportunity to explore and look around.

4. Pressing Ctrl+M will take you to the Market Watch window. This page provides a complete list of all the instruments you can trade with FP Markets along with their real-time bid and ask prices.

5. While we're on the subject of windows, you can press Ctrl+N to open the Navigator window. 

Let’s explore how each section within the Navigator functions:

    • The Accounts section allows traders to switch between multiple accounts easily, in addition to opening new accounts or deleting older ones. 
    • Indicators are tools used to digest and simplify market data, helping traders generate their analyses and decisions. The Indicators section lets traders manage and easily add indicators to their charts. Simply right-click on the indicator and select ‘Attach to a chart’ (dragging/dropping the indicator to the chart is also another option).
    • The Expert Advisors (EAs) are robots that automate your trades; this is a section where you can select your EAs and apply them to your chosen charts.
    • Traders use programs in the Scripts section to execute specific actions or commands, such as opening or closing trades, modifying orders, managing data, or implementing custom trading operations.

6. Charts are a visual representation of how the price of a particular instrument changes over time. It makes it easy for traders to see and study a particular instrument's patterns and trends. With MT4, traders can use the line, bar and candlestick charts, each offering their own functionality. 

These charts can be toggled using the Alt+1, Alt+2, and Alt+3 hotkeys.

  • To select line charts, press Alt+3 in MT4. Line charts are simple in construction: made up of only closing prices and are thus void of highs, lows and opening price values. A line chart can be particularly useful for recognising market trends and determining support and resistance levels.

  • To select the bar chart, press Alt+1. Bar charts differ from line charts as they comprise the open, close, high and low price levels for each period (specific time intervals). The size of each bar depends on how much the price fluctuates: how volatile an instrument is. The more volatile it is, the wider the bar’s range. 

  • To select candlestick charts, press Alt+2. The candlestick chart shares similarities with bar charts; the only real difference between the two is the candle’s real body (the difference between the open and close as it offers a filled space rather than simply a vertical line as with the bar charts). This is why candlestick charts tend to be more preferable for some traders due to this visual appeal.


7. The Ctrl+G shortcut is a convenient tool for managing the display of grids on charts. Not every trader or investor appreciates the default grids and prefers a cleaner background. By pressing Ctrl+G, this function toggles the grid on and off. 

8. Ctrl+F opens the crosshair tool, which helps determine exact price levels, dates and times at any given point on the chart. Simply hover the mouse to any point of the chart, and it will provide the necessary information (see example below). The crosshair tool can also be used to measure the distance between price levels in pips and points, depending on the instrument being traded.

Hidden Features

One-Click Trading:

The One-Click Trading feature of MT4 feels like a game-changer in convenience. Instead of navigating through multiple steps to execute a trade, One-Click Trading simplifies the process down to, well, one click.

Right-click on the chart and choose 'One-Click Trading'. You could also enter Alt+T. When you do this, a small box will appear in the upper left area of the chart. You can quickly choose the size of your deal and buy or sell with just one click. It works great for fast-moving markets, but be careful since it's easy to enter a trade by mistake.

News Access

The integrated news tool will keep you up to date on potential market-moving developments. It delivers the most recent financial news and economic events straight to the platform. It's like having an expert give you a report while trading. In the 'Terminal' window, go to the 'News' tab to access the news feed.

Customise the Toolbars

Once you've mastered the basics, you may tailor the platform to your style by customising the toolbars. Right-click on any toolbar to bring up an extra menu where you can pick which toolbars to show and which to hide.

These changes can be saved in MT4. Your toolbars will stay where you left them the next time you use the platform. It will save you time and let you focus on your trade strategies.


With Profiles, you can save different ways of setting up your workspace to quickly switch between setups, saving you time and making it easier to handle your trades. Click File and then Profiles. Name your present set-up and save it as an alias. You can quickly switch between profiles since they are all in the same menu.

MT4: Trade, Click and Conquer

There you have it—a look at some of the many shortcuts and features that MT4 has to offer.

Think of MT4 as your digital kitchen. It has all the tools and ingredients you could need. Traders learn which hotkeys or features in MT4 work best for their trading style, much as a chef would not use a sushi knife to ice a cake. While it may not do the dishes for you, it makes trading all the more enjoyable and more importantly, efficient.


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Source - database | Page ID - 37301

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