How to Import a Custom Indicator onto the MetaTrader Platform

Like any trading platform, the MetaTrader offer plenty of possibilities for technical analysis. It has multiple features incorporated, and below are only some of the ones offered with the standard default settings:

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All of these can be used in the technical analysis, and any trader who has some experience knows how to use them. Of course, each trader has their own trading style, meaning that different strategies are used by different traders. As a rule of thumb, the bigger the number of indicators one is looking at, the bigger the chances that trading will not be successful. As in any regular job, traders become experts in a system that is traded on and on continuously.

Trading with a Custom Indicator

The indicators listed above have been the subject of various articles here on the Trading Academy, and we’re not going to dwell more on this subject. But it should be known that these are not the only indicators that can be used in technical analysis. The MetaTrader gives the possibility of coding your own strategy. The MetaEditor, on the other hand, is not only used to create expert advisors (robots to automatically trade the currency market), but also to create custom indicators.

Steps to Create and Import a Custom Indicator

A custom indicator is one that is not in the default settings the trading platform offers. It can be a new one, created from scratch, or it can be an indicator that has been bought from a third party and needs to be imported onto the trading platform so that it can be used there. An indicator can be created with the MetaEditor and saved somewhere on the computer. It has two possible extensions, both being recognised by the trading platform. After a new indicator is either created or bought, these are the steps to follow:

  1.  From the File tab (the first one on the top left of the main MetaTrader menu) choose “Open Data Folder”. A new pop-up window will open showing the place on the computer where the MetaTrader Files are saved.
    How to Import a Custom Indicator to the MetaTrader Platform - 2
    This is a recent change in the MetaTrader, as a few years ago it was a bit more difficult to find where the root files on the computer were, but now it is straightforward.
  2.  From the newly opened folder in the computer, select the MQL4 as shown in the picture below.How to Import a Custom Indicator to the MetaTrader Platform - 3
    Before moving to the next step, the previous steps can be used to save different MetaTrader platforms from the same broker on the same computer. The only secret is to change the name in the destination file, otherwise the newly downloaded platform will overwrite the previous one.
  3. From the list of folders that follows, select the Indicators one. This is the place where all the indicators that can be found on the MetaTrader are held on the computer.How to Import a Custom Indicator to the MetaTrader Platform - 4
    Open the Indicators folder and paste the newly created indicator into it. That’s it! Now the custom indicator you created is on the trading platform.
  4. However, there’s a catch! If the trading platform was open during this process, if you look under the Common Indicators tab, the indicator is not there. The secret is to simply close the trading platform and open it again.How to Import a Custom Indicator to the MetaTrader Platform - 5
    The Navigator menu shows all the custom indicators, and the newly imported one should be found in the list above. To use it, it’s simple: Simply click and drag it over the intended chart that should be already opened in the window on the right side of this list.

Why are Custom Indicators Important?

Technical analysis is a vast field; so vast that trading strategies are continually being invented as the market is changing constantly. What is valid today may no longer be valid tomorrow, as market conditions are ever-changing. A ranging environment that has lasted years and years is valid for a ranging strategy, but when the range is ended and volatility explodes, that strategy will start losing money. For this reason, there is always something new to be interpreted. This is not a bad thing, but to address this, new indicators are needed. Besides trading indicators, there are numerous other trading tools to be used in the field of technical analysis. Trading theories are one example. In this area, the most famous are the Elliott Waves theory, Point and Figure, Gartley, Gann, Drummond Geometry, Hurst Cycles, and so on. All of them have at least part of their theory programmed into indicators, and traders simply need to import them onto the trading platform.

This is what this article and guide are for: to help traders import the various technical analysis indicators to a trading platform so that they can be incorporated into the decision-making process. In doing so, all necessary instruments will be available for successful trading. However, I’ll go back to repeat one of the main points of this article: Too many indicators or strategies used at the same time will harm a trading account.


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