The use of charts is an essential component of technical analysis. However to use charts effectively, you need to add various other tools of technical analysis. On the MT4, you will find various tools, indicators, scripts and objects. It can become a very boring and dreary affair to keep adding these tools and indicators afresh whenever a new chart is opened. In order to make the process easier and enable traders avoid the dreariness of repeatedly adding the same set of indicators to a new chart, the Metaquotes team developed the Templates function on MT4.
Whenever a trader adds tools or indicators to a currency chart, that trader is indirectly creating a customized set of technical analysis tools on the chart. These customized specifications can be saved for future use on the MT4 platform without having to readjust the settings of whatever indicators have been added all over again. The function which controls this process is the Template function. In other words, users of the MT4 can use the Template function to
Templates on MT4: What are they ?
A template can be defined as a collection of parameters for currency charts which can be duplicated for application to other charts. By this definition, the following parameters can be stored as template files:
- Line and Fibonacci tools
- All settings for indicators, tools and objects such as chart type (bar, line or candlesticks), colour, grid lines, chart scales, expert advisors (along with their settings), day separators, etc.
Templates are usually stored in the /templates subfolder or directory of the MT4 client as .tpl files. After creation or addition of a template file, the file can be added to another chart to replicate the same settings in the original chart, thus saving the trader time and effort spent on setting up the same tools and indicators (along with their settings) over and over again.
The MT4 platform usually comes with some default templates as shown below:
How to Create a Template on MT4
This function is useful when you want to create a template for your own strategies. It is assumed that you have acquired some trading experience in order to do this. To create your own customized template, follow the steps listed below:
- Open any currency chart of your choice.
- Attach the tools, scripts, objects and indicators that will form part of your technical analysis strategy, and adjust the settings according to your preference for each tool or indicator you have added.
- Right-click on the chart you have opened, then click on Template -> Save Template. Assign a file name to the Template, then click “Save”. This saves your tools and indicators, along with all settings in a template file with suffix “.tpl”.
How to Add a Template to MT4
It is not all the time that you would want to create your own template. Sometimes, you may fancy a template which has been created by someone else. This is usually the case when you may want to use a strategy created by another trader and would not want to take the pains of having to replicate the elements of the strategy on your own MT4 client. In this case, adding the template files of such a strategy to your own MT4 client is the way to go. All you need to do is to copy and save the template file(s) to a physical storage device such as a flash drive or to an external storage system such as a cloud storage. You can then follow the steps listed below to add the template (.tpl) file to our MT4 client:
#1. From the source area where the template file has been saved, copy the .tpl file.
#2. Open your MT4 client, then click on File à Open Data Folder
#3. When the MT4 data folder opens on your computer, click on the subfolder marked “Templates”, then paste the copied .tpl file to this subfolder.
#4. To see this template file, you need to restart your MT4 client. Simply close the MT4 instance and reopen it again. The template file can then be visualized when you click on Charts -> Template.
Loading a Template
You now have access to the template you have copied and saved in the template subfolder. In order to use it, you now have to load it to the chart.
#a. Load the currency chart you want to install the template on, then right click on that chart. Use your mouse cursor to scroll down the drop down menu, then click on “Template”. You can also perform this function by clicking “Charts -> Template -> Load Template
#b. Clicking “Load Template” will open the Template subfolder in your MT4 client on your computer as a dialog box.
#c. Double click on the template you want to load and this will be loaded on to the currency chart.