File Extension EX4

MetaTrader is a client-side terminal package used for online and mobile trading. The program, developed by MetaQuotes Software, is used by individuals and financial institutions trading on the Forex, CFD, and Futures markets. This software assigns the .ex4 extension to a component known as an "expert advisor" file. These files can be pre-written expert advisors that come with MetaTrader by default, or custom files created by individual users. They contain data that defines investment strategies, buy or sell triggers, short and long-term goals, account balances, and other information. An .ex4 file can be loaded and run to automate trading for various lengths of time. Users can freely create, modify, and share expert advisor files with other users.
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MetaQuotes has developed its own programming language called MQL 4, which it uses in the development of all company software. The .ex4 files are written in this language. The MetaTrader software includes a tool called the MetaEditor 4 IDE (Integrated Development Environment) which is used to create or modify .mq4 (MQL 4 raw text files) files. Though a basic understanding of programming helps in creating and modifying experts advisors, it's not absolutely necessary. The editor will guide the user through the correct formatting of the text.
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More Info Regarding File Extension EX4

In its uncompiled state the MetaTrader .ex4 file is a formatted text file written in ASCII text and given the .mq4 extension. When creating a new expert advisor, the user inputs text according to the MQL 4 language rules and the finished product is compiled by the software as an .ex4 file. Likewise, importing an expert advisor into the editor will force it to be decompiled and displayed as text. It has been noted that a decompiling program has been developed to work with .ex4 files, but no mention of the product will be made here due to software piracy issues.

The most common error encountered with .ex4 file rests in the directory location of the files. The software is set up in such a way that it will only use expert advisor files if they are found specifically in the /.../Program Files/MetaTrader/EA/ folder. Users trying to load an .ex4 file from a different location will encounter and "unable to load file" error. It's also not possible to open an .ex4 file by double clicking on it upside of the MetaTrader software. Setting up a file association within Windows will not allow opening with a double click, so this avenue should be left alone. Additionally, since these files are directly liked to the trading environment, they have no link or dependence on any part of the computers operating system. Any other errors encountered will be due to corrupt data from which there is no recovery.

Although not used commonly, MetaTrader sometimes assigns the .ex4 extension to two other types of components. These components are scripts used to run an expert advisor and indicators used to govern an expert advisor. Ultimately, both scripts and indicators will be merged into the expert advisor file and will no longer be identified as stand alone files. If a user wishes to use scripts or indicators in multiple expert advisor projects, backup copies should be made before compiling the original expert advisor file. Like the expert advisor files, errors with these two files are limited to corrupt data which cannot be recovered.

Currently there are no known programs that can be used to convert .ex4 to a different format. There are also no third party compilers than can compile .mq4 into .ex4 format. It is possible to compile multiple .mq4 files with a batch script within the MetaTrader software. Information on this procedure can be found using an internet search engine.

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