What is Metatrader?

MetaTrader is an electronic trading platform developed specifically for online Forex and futures trading created by the MetaQuotes Corporation. While the free nature of the platform is often what entices users initially, its popularity is based on its customization and open source nature. The stock manufacturer version features numerous market indicators and market order personalization, perfect for introductory level users, while the MQL programming platform allows near endless customization and tweaking.

Customization.

For advanced users with sufficient trading knowledge MetaTrader allows for the implementation of what is commonly referred to as expert advisors. Essentially, an Expert Advisor is an automated featured by which users program a set of specific instructions and commands into the trading platform to govern trading activities. All Expert Advisors are designed using a specifically designed programming language called MQL (MetaQuotes Language).

Luckily, for users who may not be experienced with programming or who may be strapped for time, there are currently hundreds of predesigned Expert Advisors from which to choose from. Each Expert Advisor is specifically designed to operate under a strict set of limitations and regulations, allowing users to manage their portfolio with as much specificity as they require.

Versions.

Currently, MetaTrader is available in two versions: MT4 and MT5. Aside from the different languages upon which the programs were written, MQL 4 versus MQL 5, there are also several functional differences between the two versions. Essentially, traders are unable to hedge their position in MT5 like they can in MT4; MT5 users can only hold a singular position in one currency pair at a time. If a sell order is sent with an open buy position the system will automatically close the position instead of creating a second position in an opposite direction.

Display Features

The standard version of MetaTrader contains several windows and toolbars designed to make the trading process as simple and intuitive as possible for users. Users are able to create and manage as many charts at once as they find logistically possible, comparing an array of real-time market data based either on standard trend recommendations or on parameters that they set personally.

The Market Watch window allows users to view the current status of currency pairs currently supported by their individual broker; specifically, the current Ask and Bid prices. This particular window allows users to manipulate data regarding specific currency pairs based not only on current trading prices, but on market trends and trading popularity.
Interface Navigation

The user interface is one of the most subtle, yet powerful features associated with MetaTrader, offering virtually unlimited customization when it comes to keyboard specific commands and window appearance. However, complete control comes with a price, as it is also one of the aspects of the program that new users often find most confusing or intimidating.

Every trading action comes automatically bound to a specific keystroke or series of keystrokes, allowing users to rapidly execute market commands and trading procedures without the need to click through numerous clunky menus. Additionally, every chart and window allows users to indicate color schemes and designations based on individual preference.

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