The MetaTrader 4 (MT4) trading terminal is probably one of the most versatile trading and charting platforms combined. The MT4 platform offers a good amount of customization which traders can use to their benefit.
While the MT4 platform offers a good selection of custom time frames, starting from 1-minute and up to 1-month, traders often find themselves in need of using custom time frames such as 2-hour, 6-hour, 8-hour or 12-hour charts.
There are some reasons why a trader would want these custom time frames. For example, a swing trader or a trader who trades only part-time will find that analyzing these custom time frame charts will offer them a better idea on the price action analysis.
Having to look at the custom time frame charts, such as the 8 or 12-hour charts requires only an occasional analysis rather than having to be stuck with a lower time frame chart that requires constant monitoring.
Using a custom time frame chart on MT4
Although you can build custom time frame charts, there is a process that needs to be followed. Unlike the existing time frames such as 1-hour or 4-hour chart time frames, which can be changed just by the click of the button, the workaround for a custom time frame chart is different.
To begin with, first, identify what chart time frame you require. In this article, we will build a custom time frame chart of 8-hour.
The next step is to open a regular chart after clicking on the currency pair. Let’s assume that we are using the NZDUSD chart. For an 8-hour chart, we can use a 4-hour chart as the main chart of reference.
Once we have the 4-hour chart up and running, the next step is to open the Navigator window (shortcut: Ctrl + N).
Then, expand the ‘Scripts’ tab and click on PeriodConverter. This is a script that will convert the base period into any period of your choice. So, since we want an 8-hour chart, drag and drop the PeriodConverter script to the main chart (NZDUSD, 4-hour chart time frame).
You will see a pop-up window that asks you to input the value. The default is set to 3. We will change it to 2. (2 x 4 = 8).
Of course, you can also use a 1-hour chart as the main chart and input the value to 8. In this case, you have 1 hour x 8 which builds the 8-hour chart.
The image below shows a visual description on creating an NZDUSD 8-hour custom time frame chart using the 4-hour base chart.
Once the correct value is input, the dialog window disappears.
To open the custom time frame chart, you can then click on the ‘File’ from the menu bar and then click on ‘Open Custom Time Frame.’ You can then scroll down to the currency pair and the custom time frame.
In this example, the picture below shows the NZDUSD, H8 chart. Select this chart and then click ‘Open.’
The chart that opens is now the custom time frame chart, shown below, which is the NZDUSD, H8 chart.
You can use the above chart just as it is a normal custom time frame chart. This means you can add any custom indicators, apply any of the existing templates and also trade directly from the chart itself.
An important point to remember is that the base chart needs to be kept open (NZDUSD, H4). The custom time frame chart that opens is basically an offline chart that takes data from the base chart. If you close your MT4 terminal, then the next time you open the chart, you will need to re do the entire process.
In this case, you can just drop the PeriodConvertor script and input the value. You can then use the already open H8 chart which updates in real time.
The same process can be applied to create custom time frame chart such as H2, H6, H8, H12. You can also build higher custom time frame chart such as 2D, W2 and so on.