A great feature in Forex Tester 5 is the ability to install custom indicators.
This allows you to use the trade journaling and analysis tools in Forex Tester, while using the same indicators that you would use in live trading with MetaTrader.
It really speeds up the backtesting process.
If you use MetaTrader as manual backtesting software on its own, it’s works, but it’s cumbersome and slow.
But there are some limitations to importing indicators into Forex Tester.
So in this tutorial, I’ll show you how to add custom MT4 indicators to Forex Tester 5, and show you why it might not be as useful as you think.
If you prefer the text version of this tutorial, it’s provided below the video.
How to Add a New Indicator in Forex Tester 5
To add an indicator to Forex Tester 5, make sure that you’re on the Home tab in the upper left corner of the screen, then click on List of Indicators, then Install New Indicator.
From there, a small window will pop up that will allow you to install the indicator.
Click on the button with the 3 dots to select the file you want to install.
There are 2 types of indicator files that you can add to FT5.
A .dll file is the default file type for Forex Tester indicators.
The issue with this file type is that there aren’t many indicators available on the internet and it isn’t easy to find a programmer that knows how to create Forex Tester .dll indicators.
We do have a couple of indicators available, but we haven’t had a lot of requests for new ones.
The more practical file type is the .mq4 file.
This is the file that MetaTrader 4 uses.
But before you get all excited about being able to import MetaTrader 4 indicators into Forex Tester, there are a couple of catches:
- You can only import .mq4 files, not .ex4 files
- The import will only work if the Forex Tester server can do the conversion
Most custom indicators sold on the internet will be delivered in .ex4 format. This is because the vendor isn’t going to give away the source code or the “recipe” of how the indicator works.
Unfortunately, you cannot import .ex4 indicators into Forex Tester 5.
However, if you do have the .mq4 file, then you can move forward.
Once you select the file you want to import, click the Install button.
After you select the MT4 indicator file that you want to install, the software will ask you to verify that you’re OK with sending the file to the Forex Tester servers.
In order to convert the .mq4 file to .dll format, the program on the server will have to do the conversion, then send the .dll file back to you.
Once the conversion is done, you’ll get a message that the indicator is installed.
If you want to buy Forex Tester 5 so you can backtest with MetaTrader 4 indicators, then be sure to get the big discount.
Benefits of Importing MT4 Indicators
The biggest benefit of being able to import MT4 indicators is the ability to backtest your trading strategies with the same indicators that you’ll use in live trading.
Converting an indicator is free and very easy to do with the Forex Tester automated conversion service. You don’t have to pay a programmer extra to convert the indicator for you.
In addition, you can get tons of free indicators that you can import into Forex Tester in the MT4 Code Base.
Downsides of Importing MT4 Indicators
I haven’t used this function a lot because I’m not into custom indicators, but I have noticed that the Forex Tester conversion tool isn’t able to convert all of the indicators that I’ve uploaded.
In fact, the success rate seemed to be pretty low. It generally works for simple indicators, but it has difficulty converting more complex ones.
Now in all fairness, converting code between 2 different programming languages isn’t easy, especially for an automated program.
But just be aware that the conversion process may not work for all indicators.
What About Decompiling .ex4 Files?
Some people are under the impression that you can “decompile” a .ex4 file to get the .mq4 file.
In all my years of trading, I’ve never seen anyone do it.
At one point I looked into it for a couple of days. A lot of people thought it could be done, but I never saw any evidence.
So I wouldn’t waste my time trying to figure out how to decompile a .ex4 file.
If you can’t find the .mq4 file, just move on.
So that’s it!
The process is very simple and powerful, but the method does have its limitations.
Hopefully they will expand the functionality of the indicator import so it will be more reliable and possibly include MT5 custom indicators too.
Alright, now get to backtesting!
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