MetaTrader 4 Chart Management – Opening a Chart
This lesson will cover the following
A chart reflects the changes in the price of a trading instrument over time. Charts are important in terms of technical analysis, and also for expert advisors operation and testing. A total of 99 charts can be opened in the terminal simultaneously.
A new chart can be opened by using the “File – New Chart” menu, the “Window – New Window” menu command, or by pressing the button from the “Standard” toolbar. The list of available instruments will appear upon performing any of these actions. Having selected the necessary symbol from this list, one can open its respective chart.
New charts can also be opened from the “Market Watch” window, by holding Ctrl and dragging the element of the list (the instrument) from the window into any point of the work space of the terminal, or by executing the “Chart Window” command of the context menu. All new charts are opened with the DEFAULT.TPL template, created during the terminal installation. This template cannot be deleted, but can be modified.
Historical data, used for creation of charts, are stored on the hard disk. Upon opening of a chart, the data are downloaded from the disk and the last missing data are spooled from the trading server. If no historical data for the instrument were to be found on the hard disk, the latest 512 bars of history will be downloaded. To spool the earlier data, one needs to move the chart to the desired area. After the chart has been opened, information about the current quotes starts to come in to the terminal. This way further price changes will be shown in the real-time mode. This information will be stored in the history file and will be used, when the chart is reopened at some time in the future.
The “Max. bars in history” and “Max. bars in chart” parameters are defined in the terminal settings. These parameters grant control over the amount of historical data, displayed and stored on the hard disk.
Client terminal also makes possible to work with offline charts. These charts are opened on the basis of data, saved on the hard disk in HST format. These data are not updated from the server. Offline charts prove to be quite useful when working with non-standard instruments or time periods. In order to open a new chart in offline mode, one needs to use the “File – Open Offline” menu command. After that, an instrument must be selected in the window appearing and the “Open” button must be pressed. The OFFLINE.TPL template is applied to the chart automatically. The “(offline)” inscription will appear added in the heading of the offline chart. When testing an expert, the data file in FXT format is created and used. It has certain differences from a standard chart, but one can open it offline.