Regardless of the method used to attach the MA, the trader will next have the option to define inputs, such as MA length, once the indicator has been selected and the Moving Average window automatically appears. The window has three tabs:
The Parameters tab, shown in Figure 4, has several user-defined input options:
- Period - The lookback period, or the number of bars that will be used in the calculation.
- Shift - The offset of the MA.
- MA Method - Simple, exponential, smoothed or linear weighted.
- Apply to - The price that will be used in the calculation, such as Close, Open, High, Low and several other options.
- Style - The color, line style and line weight for the MA.
Figure 4: Traders can customize the appearance and period of the moving indicator in the Parameters tab.
The Levels tab, shown in Figure 5, allows traders to build "levels" or a channel around a MA.
Figure 5: Traders can build bands around the primary MA by creating levels in the Levels tab.
To add a channel, double-click under "Level" and enter the desired value (the distance from the MA), then double-click under "Description" to give the level a name, such as "Level 1." Choose the style - color, line style and line weight - and click the Add button to create additional Levels. The levels will appear as bands the specified distance from the moving average, as shown in Figure 6.
Figure 6: Levels create a price channel a specified distance from the primary MA.
The Visualization tab, shown in Figure 7, is the final tab in the Moving Average window. In this tab, traders can specify to which timeframe the MA indicator will be anchored. This can be done so that the indicator's settings (such as Period) will not have to be readjusted with each new timeframe.
Figure 7: Traders can select the timeframe(s) to which the indicator will be anchored in the Visualization tab.
For example, if the MA's period was set to 20 in the Parameters tab, the M5 (five-minute) and H1 (one-hour) timeframes can be selected in the Visualization tab; the 20-period MA will then appear only on these two timeframes as traders toggle between the various charting intervals. To have the MA (with the same inputs) appear on all charting intervals, click the box next to "All Timeframes."
SEE: Moving Averages: How To Use Them
How To Apply Moving Averages With MetaTrader 4: Editing The MA
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