How to use Multicharts

Affiliate Disclaimer: "TradaMaker is supported by its readers. Please assume all links are affiliate links. If you purchase something from one of our links we make a small commission from Amazon or other partners. It helps us pay for the running of this website. Thank you!"


The goal of this post is to provide an easy to follow beginners guide to setting up and using Multicharts. This guide includes all the basic information required to get up and running fast.

Multicharts is a quality and affordable alternative to the popular Ninjatrader. Like Ninjatrader, Multicharts .NET framework is ideal for developing automated trading strategies. The software is available free with a demo or funded brokerage account or for outright purchase with a fee.

What is Multicharts

Multicharts is a powerful professional trading platform. It’s easily integrated with many external brokerage trading services and it supports both live and simulated trading.

Multicharts offers many of the same feature available with Ninjatrader; an easy to use interface, multiscreen functionality, customizable charts and tool properties and on chart order execution and modification.

The platform comes integrated with a handful of indicators and full range of tools.

Multicharts is available in 2 versions:

‘Multicharts’ that has User-Friendly programming language that is great for inexperienced programmers and has a good range of third party add ons.

‘Multicharts.NET’ which is designed specifically for programmers that use VB .NET and C#. Plus numerous other customization features.

Whilst Multicharts is often used for discretionary trading, Multicharts was original created for automated trading strategies. The .NET framework makes Multicharts ideal for developing custom strategies.

If you are interested in finding out more about using Multicharts the following guide provides a complete overview of how to use Multicharts and many of the basic functions to get the most out of the platform.

How to download Multicharts

Multicharts is easy to download and open a free demo account. To download a the latest Multicharts software follow the instructions below:

  1. Click  the link to open the Multicharts download page
  2. Click the ‘Free Demo’ button
  3. Enter your ‘Name’ and ‘Email’
  4. An email will be sent to your inbox including all instructions to download and install Multicharts.

After download a series of Multicharts icons will appear on your desktop or in your list of applications. Use Multicharts .NET64 Special Edition for optimal performance.

What are the PC requirements for Multicharts

As long as your system is less than 7 to 8 years old it should be fine running Multicharts.

If you plan to run a multiple monitor setup you may want to ensure you have the following:

  • Minimum 8GB Ram
  • 2.8 GHz Processor
  • Quality graphics card capable of supporting multiple monitors (ATI or Nvidia)

How to run Multicharts on a Mac

Like Ninjatrader, Multicharts runs on the .NET framework and isn’t designed to run on the OS operating system. However it can be run on your Mac hardware using a virtual machine that runs windows along side OS. The best option for do this is using Parallels. To do this:

  1. Download and Install Parallels software.
  2. Install Windows operating system on Parallels
  3. Install and run Multicharts on Parallels

For more details refer to my post ‘Can Ninjatrader be installed on a Mac‘. The same process applies for installing Multicharts.

How to open a demo account

There are two options for opening a Multicharts demo account:

  1. Directly though Multicharts.com
  2. Though a brokerage account

The most cost effective and convenient method for using Multicharts demo account is through a brokerage account.

The following are instructions for opening a demo account using either of these methods:

Opening a 30 day free trial through Multicharts.com

Multicharts offers a once off 30 day free software trial. After this period expires you need to ‘subscribe and pay for a Multicharts subscription option’.

To open a Multichart account:

  1. Click  the link to open the Multicharts download page
  2. Click the ‘Free Demo’ button
  3. An email will be sent to your inbox including all instructions to download and install Multicharts.

See below for how to log in to Multicharts.

Opening a demo account through a brokerage account

It’s possible to signup for an account through a brokerage service to access Multicharts for free. This will require opening a funded account.

I prefer using AMP futures. They offer free Multicharts usage, low initial funding amount of USD $500, no monthly inactivity fee and some of the best trading commission rates in the market.

To access a brokerage demo account:

  1. Open a brokerage account, see section below: ‘How to open a Multicharts brokerage account’
  2. Login to multicharts, see section below: ‘How to login to Multicharts’ and ‘How to connect to live data feed’
  3. FILL THIS IN

How to login to Multicharts

With your new Multicharts activation details issued to you via email either from Multicharts.com direct or via your broker login to the Multichart platform by the following steps:

  1. Double Click the Multicharts desktop Icon to launch platform. Use
    .NET64 special edition for optimal performance.
  2. Select the data feed; CQG is standard.
  3. Select ‘Demo’ at the Mode drop down tab.
  4. Enter your Multicharts Login details into the ‘Login’ and ‘Password’ fields.
  5. Select ‘Finish’ and Multicharts will start.

How to connect to a data feed

To trade demo or live you will need to connect to a data feed.

There are several ways to get access to market data:

  1. Multicharts 30 day free trial direct through Multicharts.com or a demo account via a brokerage service.
  2. Open a brokerage account and pay a monthly data fee – BEST OPTION.

Data Costs

The easiest method to receive data is through your brokerage account. Data is cheap depending how many markets you wish to trade. The following is a list of Exchange market data rates quoted by AMP Futures.

AMP Futures exchange data fees - How to use Multicharts
Exchange data fees as quoted by AMP Futures

The following is a useful reference of what markets trade on which exchanges – Instruments, Exchanges and Commissions.

There are several data feed providers available. These typically include CQG, TT, Rithmic etc. For the purposes of this post CQG is a good option. Others can be explored at a later date depending on your trading needs.

Data Feed connection in Multicharts

Upon initial login Multicharts will ask for your Data Feed, Mode (Demo or Live) and login credentials.

If you’re not already connected to your data feed follow the below instructions:

To connect to your data feed via Multicharts:

  1. Go to file in the top bar. Select Broker Profiles > Manage Broker Profiles
  2. Select the data feed required and select ‘edit’
  3. Enter your data feed credentials in the ‘login’ and ‘password’ fields.
  4. Under Connectivity. Select the ‘Server’ to connect. ‘Sim / Demo’ or ‘Live’.
  5. Select ‘OK’ when done. Multicharts will connect and you’re ready to trade.
Data Feed connection in Multicharts - How to use Multicharts
Data Feed connection in Multicharts
Data Feed login with Multicharts - How to use Multicharts

Data Feed login with Multicharts

How to use charts, workspace and desktops in Multicharts

Multicharts allows users to manage chart and charting screen configurations using charts, workspaces and desktop settings.

‘Charts’ refer to single instrument chart windows.

‘Workspaces’ allow users to display single or multiple charts on a single or multiple screens. ‘Workspaces’ allow users to set indicator and tool settings that relate to individual and multiple charts. They also allow users to preset window configurations for multi-monitor setups.

‘Desktops’ allow users to setup and save multiple ‘Workspaces’ which can be navigated between using a window tab. ‘Desktops’ allow users to save multiple ‘workspace’ configurations within a single file.

All Individual ‘Charts’, ‘Workspaces’ and ‘Desktops’ can be saved, shared and reloaded for easy retrieval of preferred settings.

How to open a new Chart, workspace and Desktop

How to create a Workspace?

To open a new chart in multicharts first create a new workspace.

To create a workspace go to File > New > Workspace

A new workspace tab will appear in the bottom bar. Double click the tab to rename.

To create multiple workspaces repeat the same process. A new tab in the bottom bar will appear.

How to create a Chart?

To create a new chart go to File > New > Chart Window. A ‘Format Instrument’ Window will appear. Select the Contract to be displayed from the list and select ‘OK’.

To Customize the chart settings select Format in the top bar > Instrument… Alternatively use the Format Instrument button located in the chart tool bar.

Chart Toolbar - How to use Multicharts
Chart Toolbar

Most chart settings can be found under the ‘Instrument’, Settings’ and ‘Style’ tabs.

Format Instrument Window - How to use Multicharts
Format Instrument Window

Multiple charts can be created within a single workspace. To save a workspace go to File > Save Workspace As… and select the name and location of your ‘workspace’ file.

How to create a Desktop?

If you prefer multiple workspaces its a good idea to create a ‘desktop’ to make retrival of your preferred settings easier.

To create a ‘desktop’ go to File > Save Desktop As…
and select the name and location of your ‘desktop’ file.

‘Workspaces’ and ‘Desktops’ can be shared and imported to other machines running Multicharts.

How to detach charts from a Multicharts Chartbook

If you wish to create a multi-monitor setup using Multicharts, individual charts need to be detached from the main workspace.

To detach a chart, select the chart. In the main top bar menu select Window > Detach Window. The detached chart can be dragged to a new monitor or configured separately from the main workspace window as required.

To re-attached, select the chart. In the main top bar menu select Window > Attach Window

How to add indicators in Multicharts

Indicators in Multicharts are called ‘Studies’. There are 3 quick ways access the Multicharts study window.

  1. In the main window top bar menu go to Insert > Study… or
  2. Right click on the chart window and select Insert Study… or
  3. In the top chart tool bar click the Insert Study Icon.
Insert Study Window - How to use Multicharts
Insert Study Window

To add a study to a chart:

  1. Select the chart to add the study.
  2. From the ‘Insert study’ Window scroll to select the required study.
  3. Click ‘OK’
  4. The ‘Format Study’ window specific to the selected study will appear. Here settings can be amended.
  5. Select ‘OK’ when happy with settings. The study will appear on the chart.
Format Study - How to use Multicharts
Format Study Window

How to use Multicharts ‘Chart Trading’

The ‘Chart Trading’ feature in Multicharts allows users to add, amend and cancel orders directly on the chart. There’s lots of very useful features in the Chart Trading window so its worth spending a bit of time getting familiar with what it has to offer. Below is an outline of the basic functions to get started.

To access chart trading open any chart. In the top right hand corner of the chart select the icon with the green left and red right pointing arrows.

The ‘Chart Trading’ window will expand over the chart.

Chart Trading Window - How to use Multicharts
Chart Trading Window

In the ‘Chart Trading’ panel are quick button options for placing trade orders:

  • The most basic orders are ‘market’ orders and ‘buy’ or ‘sell’ on the ‘Ask’ and ‘Bid’ limit orders.
  • ‘Reverse’ positions
  • ‘CancelAll’ / ‘Cancel Bids’ / ‘Cancel Asks‘ open positions and pending orders
  • Close: Closes all working orders
  • Quantities: how many contracts to be traded.
  • Order types: Day, GTC, GTD …
  • Place Order: Drag and drop entry strategies (See below)
  • Exit Strategies: Drag and drop exit strategies (See below)

How to Enter Order on the Chart

There are two main methods for placing an order on a chart:

  1. ‘Right Click’ above or below price. Go to Place Order > Select order type. Multicharts will Only list the order types available at the selected price.
  2. ‘Drag and Drop’. In the ‘Place Order’ field left click to select an order type. Hover the mouse curser over the icons to read a description of the order. Drag and drop selected order onto the chart.
Place order by right clicking on screen were to place order. Select 'Place Order' and Order Type
Place order by right clicking on screen were to place order. Select ‘Place Order’ and Order Type
 Place order by dragging and dropping selected order type from 'Place Order' fields
Place order by dragging and dropping selected order type from ‘Place Order’ fields

The order will appear on the chart as an order ‘Flag’.

To amend the price that the order will execute. Drag the flag to the correct price. 

To cancel the order left click on the ‘X’. The order type and number of contracts will show on the left of the flag.

There are 3 basic order types plus 4 entry strategies that can placed using the on chart trading feature:

Basic Orders:

Limit order – is an order to buy or sell at a specific price or better. A Limit ‘buy’ order can be executed at the limit price or lower and limit ‘sell’ order can be executed at the limit price or higher.

Stop Order – Also known as a stop loss order. It becomes a market order once the market reaches a specified price. Despite the name, stop market orders are also commonly used to enter the market.

Stop Limit Order – Opens a limit order once price reaches a specified price. The Limit order executes at the specified price or better.

Entry Strategies:

Fade – Places OCO (One Cancels Other) limit orders. One sell limit above the market and a buy limit below the market. Once one order is filled the other is cancelled.

Breakout – Places OCO (One Cancels Other) stop orders. One buy stop above the market and a sell stop below the market. Once one order is filled the other is cancelled.

Breakout down / Fade Strategy – Places OCO (One Cancels Other) orders. A sell limit order above current price and a sell stop order below current price.

Breakout Up / Fade Strategy – Places OCO (One Cancels Other) orders. A buy limit order below current price and a buy stop order above current price.

'Breakout' drag and Drop Entry Strategy placed on chart. Stop orders above and below price OCO
‘Breakout’ drag and Drop Entry Strategy placed on chart. Stop orders above and below price OCO

How to use Multicharts market replay

The Market replay feature is a fantastic feature of the platform. It allows simulation trading of any market at anytime. It’s excellent beginner traders who can’t always be at market open.

The platforms market replay function is easy and initiative to use and there’s no need to manually download market data (unlike Ninjatrader).

How to play market replay data

  1. The market replay control panel is located in the bottom right hand corner of the main window (see figure below).
  2. In the control panel select how you want to replay data. Tick by Tick, second by second, etc.
  3. Select the start date and time to begin replaying data.
  4. Select the Jump to Time icon to skip the chart to the desired time.
  5. Click the Play and Pause buttons to control the market replay playback.
  6. Use the slider to control the playback speed.
Market replay control panel
Market replay control panel

How much does Multicharts Cost

Multicharts offer a lease and lifetime purchase options. It can be leased on a 3 month, 6 month or 12 month basis.

There two options for acquiring the platform:

Multicharts is slightly more expensive than the comparable Ninjatrader. The best option is to signup to a brokerage account offering free Multicharts leasing.

Charting Package Options

Multicharts offers 3 leasing plans plus a lifetime license for the full charting package:

3 Months – Price: 297 USD (~$99 per month)

6 Months – Price: 497 USD (~$82 per month)

1 Year – Price: 797 USD (~$66 per month)

lifetime – Price: 1497 USD

Free Multicharts packages

A good option for getting free platform usage is to open a brokerage account.

AMP Futures offers free usage of Multicharts.

How to open a brokerage account

List of Brokers

Multicharts supports a number of brokerage trade services. Click here for a full list of brokers.

Opening a Brokerage Account

If you just getting started and early in your trading career, AMP futures is a solid brokerage account option. They offer a low minimum initial deposit, low margin requirements and some of the the best commission rates. The following is a step by step guide of how to open an AMP brokerage account.

  • Go to AMP Futures and click Open Account at the top of the page.
  • In the bottom left hand corner of the window select ‘Click here if you don’t have an account’ or ‘Open Account Now
  • Next to ‘Account Type’ select the appropriate option.
  • Read the ‘Electronic Signature Agreement’ and select ‘Begin Application.
  • Complete each of the tabs: Personal Info, Asset Info, Trading Profile. Remember to keep your new username and password in a safe place these will be required into your online account.
  • Read and complete the Representations, Disclosures and Finalize. In these sections you will be asked to agree to a series of agreements, trading disclosure statements and provide proof of ID and Proof of Home Address.
  • Once all the steps are completed you will receive an email notifying your application is under review.
  • Within a day assuming the information provided is correct, your application should be approved. Included in this email is instructions for funding your account. This can be done via wire transfer, ACH transfer or Check.
  • If you wish to transfer funds directly from an existing brokerage trading account. Complete this form and return to AMP.
  • You will receive an email notification once your funds have been received. Included in this email will be a link for a live trading platform setup request.
  • You will also receive a separate email including ‘Live’ Trading – Setup Instructions. This will include your data feed username and password details. Remember to keep these in a safe place. For instruction for how to connect to your new live data feed see below.

How to connect to live data feed

To connect to your live data feed:

  1. Go to file in the top bar. Select Broker Profiles > Manage Broker Profiles
  2. Select the data feed required and select ‘edit’
  3. Enter your data feed credentials in the ‘login’ and ‘password’ fields.
  4. Under Connectivity. Select the ‘Server’ to connect. To trade live select ‘Live’.
  5. Select ‘OK’ when done. Multicharts will connect and you’re ready to trade.

Your now ready to trade live!

Leave a Comment