Using Indicators

Hi folks,

Today we are going to study how to use Indicators in MetaTrader platform.

What is Indicator?

The indicator is a program written in MQL4, which mathematically manipulates the prices and draws lines on the chart.
The Indicators differ from the Expert Advisor in that:
1. The Indicators draw lines on the chart, while the Expert Advisors cannot.
2. The Expert Advisors can Auto-Trade, while the Indicators cannot.
Note: The lines that Indicators can draw are the buffers lines. But the Study Lines (ex: vertical lines, horizontal lines, Arrows and Shapes etc) could be drawn from the
Indicator and from the Expert Advisors.

How to load indicator on the chart:

There are two kinds of MetaTrader indicators:

Built-in Indicators set:
This set of indicators is shipped with MetaTrader, and is considered the standard indicators. They are for use only, and cannot be opened for viewing and/or modifying their source code. You can access these indicators from the Navigator window - Indicators list (Figure 1).

Figure 1 - Navigator window - Indicators list

Custom Indicators:
These are the indicators which located at experts/indicators folder. Most of these indicators are open source (came in .mq4 format then compiled to .ex4 format). You can open them in MetaEditor to view and/or modify their source code. They can be accessed from the Navigator window - Custom Indicators list (Figure 2).

Figure 2 - Navigator window -Custom Indicators list

To insert an indicator to the chart, you must first activate the chart by clicking it. Then, go to the Navigator window to choose the indicator you want to insert and right-click on it. You'll get a sub-menu like the one showed in Figure 3. From this menu, you have to choose "Attach to a chart" command.

Figure 3 - Indicators sub-menu

You'll be prompted with the Indicator Parameters window (Figure 4) to set the indicator parameters. Clicking OK button in the Indicator Parameters window will attach the indicator to the chart.

Figure 4 - Indicator Parameters window

Note: You can simply double-click the indicator name in the Navigator window to open the Indicator Parameters window.
Note: In the Insert menu, you will find Indicators sub-menu (Figure 5), where you can find all the built-in indicators grouped in categories (ex: Trends, Oscillators and Volumes), as well as all the Custom Indicator located in the Custom sub-menu. Clicking the indicator name from this menu will open the Indicator Parameters window.

Figure 5 - Insert -> Indicators menu

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