If you’ve been trading Forex for a while, you’re probably pretty familiar with the standard Forex trading platform, MetaTrader 4 (MT4). It was released by MetaQuotes in 2005 and is by far the most popular Forex trading platform.
In fact, MetaQuotes has since released its successor, MetaTrader 5, but it was not received as well by the Forex trading community. As a result, the majority of brokers still use MetaTrader 4.
Although there are some limitations to MT4, this free and simple trading platform is powerful and versatile enough for most Forex traders. This is due, in part, to its thriving community of coders for the many different indicators, scripts, and Expert Advisors, which add so much functionality to the platform.
Whether or not it will be enough for you really depends on what type of trading system you are using, and how far you are willing to go for a small advantage. For those of us that are sticking with MT4 for now, the useful hotkeys and shortcuts below are a must.
The Most Useful MetaTrader 4 Hotkeys & Shortcuts!
Below is a list of all of the hotkeys that I know about and have used. I plan to add to this list if MetaQuotes adds new hotkeys or shortcuts to the MT4 platform.
If you know of any that are not on this list, be sure to let me know in the comments below.
These Are The MT4 Hotkeys That I Use The Most
Ctrl+E – enable/disable attached Expert Advisor
Ctrl+I – open the “Indicators List” window
Ctrl+M – open/close the “Market Watch” window
Ctrl+N – open/close the “Navigator” window
Ctrl+T – open/close the “Terminal” window
Ctrl+Y – show/hide period separators
F7 – open the properties window of the Expert Advisor that you have attached to your chart
F9 – open the “New Order” window
F11 – enable/disable full-screen mode
F12 – move the chart ahead by one candlestick/bar
Shift+F12 – move the chart back by one candlestick/bar
– – zoom the chart out
+ – zoom the chart in (must use with the Shift key)
Numpad 5 – restore automatic chart scale after it’s been changed or return the chart into visible range (if the scale is defined)
F5 – switch to the next profile
Shift+F5 – switch to the previous profile
Delete – delete all selected graphical objects
Other Useful MT4 Hotkeys
← – scroll the chart to the left
→ – scroll the chart to the right
↑ – fast scroll to the left or scroll up (if the scale is defined)
↓ – fast scroll to the right or scroll down (if the scale is defined)
Page Up – fast scroll to the left
Page Down – fast scroll to the right
Home – move the chart to the start (earliest record you have downloaded)
End – move the chart to the end (current price)
Backspace – delete the last object added to the chart
Enter – open/close fast navigation window
F1 – open the user guide
F2 – open the “History Center” window
F3 – open the “Global Variables” window
F4 – open MetaEditor
F6 – open the “Tester” window (must have an Expert Advisor attached to the chart)
F8 – open the chart properties window
F10 – open the “Popup Prices” window
Alt+1 – display chart as bars
Alt+2 – display chart as candlesticks
Alt+3 – display chart as a broken line
Alt+W – open the chart management window
Alt+F4 – close MetaTrader 4
Alt+Backspace – undo last deleted object(s)
Ctrl+A – revert all indicator window heights to default
Ctrl+B – open the “Objects List” window
Ctrl+D – open/close the “Data Window”
Ctrl+F – enable crosshair
Ctrl+G – show/hide grid
Ctrl+H – show/hide OHLC line (top left)
Ctrl+L – show/hide volumes
Ctrl+O – open the “Setup” window
Ctrl+P – print the chart
Ctrl+R – open/close the “Tester” window
Ctrl+W – close the chart window
Ctrl+Shift+F6 – switch to next chart window
Ctrl+F6 – switch to previous chart window
Some Helpful MT4 Shortcuts That I Use
The new versions of MetaTrader 4 allow you to drag and drop your stop loss and take profit levels. Previously, you had to use an Expert Advisor to add this function.
In order to see your stop loss and take profit levels, use Ctrl+O or go to Tools –> Options. Select the Charts tab and check the box that says “Show trade levels”. Now you can see your levels, making it easier to drag them.
I also like to check the box directly underneath that says “Use ‘Alt’ key to drag trade levels”. With this box checked, you have to hit the “Alt” key to activate the drag and drop feature in MT4.
Note: I use the “Alt” key to drag and drop my levels so that I don’t accidentally move my trade levels while I’m clicking and dragging other objects on my charts.
This next shortcut is commonly used, but helpful if you don’t already know it. You can use “Ctrl” to duplicate any object on your chart. Simply double click the object to select it, then hold the “Ctrl” key and drag. This technique is especially useful if you use multiple colors when drawing objects (like trend lines and support/resistance levels).
You probably already know this next shortcut, but it is essential. You can click in the price grid (on the right of the chart) and drag down to shrink the scale of the chart. This can be helpful for placing stop losses, take profits, support/resistance levels, etc… that are outside the current automatic range of the chart.
To return the chart scale to default, simply click and drag up on the price grid. If you use automatic chart scaling, you can just hit Numpad 5.
These are the most useful MetaTrader 4 (MT4) hotkeys and shortcuts that I use on a regular basis, and some others that I’ve used before. If you found this article useful, please share it with other traders, and feel free to suggest any hotkeys or shortcuts that I’ve missed. Good luck and happy trading!