Troubleshooting & FAQ: Importing
Some Trades Are Grayed Out…
There are three reasons a trade may be gray when you see it in the import wizard.
1) It’s already been imported by you manually or by the import wizard and is in your Trade Log. Ticket numbers are used to match trades in your Log with trades on your statement. If a trade is already in your Log, the Log will prevent it from being imported a second time.
2) You are looking at trades with a currency pair you have not yet set up in the Trade Log.
To check on that, click cancel and close the import wizard. Then go to the Settings menu and choose currencies and add the new pairs in. Then run the import wizard once again.
3) You have set up the currency pair in the Settings menu of the Log, but it is currently not checked on. Only those pairs that are ON will be available to import.
No Trades Appear In The Import Wizard
This may be the result of your having modified the mapping for the import wizard. Try the import once again and when you get to the dialog for the mapping notice if any of your rows are different than the default settings shown here. If they are different, then click each one to restore it to what you see here. Feel free to add mappings for custom parameters you may set up for blank lines, such as S/L, T/P, etc. This is the default mapping for an MT4 broker. Forex Tester has its own mapping (see that page).
MT4 broker won’t export a statement
Somewhere along the line, you deleted the 2 templates called statement and StatementDetailed from the template folder. When your MT4 program tries to create a current statement, it looks to those files as models. If it can’t find them, it just doesn’t create anything, nor does it offer you a polite message – nothing happens at all (this is what we call user-unfriendly-programming).
Easy solution: go to any of your other MT4 brokers folders and copy those two files from their templates and paste them into the template folder of the broker that you are unable to export a report from now. You don’t even have to quit and restart the MT4 to do this: you can add the files in even while the program is running.
If you do not have another MT4 platform already loaded, you can activate another demo for these purposes. You may want to pick a different broker, so your password storage doesn’t get disrupted.
Note: there are two folders in MT4 that are called ‘templates’. One is the main MT4 folder itself, and the other is within the experts folder. Make sure that you are adding your missing files to the main template folder, rather than the one inside the experts folder.
Speeding Up Import
Q: Does the number of trades on my account report influence the speed of importing trades? I’ve been replacing the whole history every time I download, so the file is getting bigger and bigger.
A: Sure. The Log has to ‘think’ about each trade, so the bigger the report, the longer it will take. Small reports are imported almost instantly. If you know that you’ve imported everything since last Friday, then before generating a new account report today, first create a custom time period in the MT4 account window. Then create the report that you will be importing, with only the trades you took since the last import. We show you how in the video tutorial about importing if you aren’t familiar with how easy this is to do.
If you’re not sure when you last imported, then include some of the last days – it’s not a problem if there is an overlap, as the Log will ignore trades it has already imported. You just don’t need to go back to the beginning and export your entire history each time.
Q: Why doesn’t the Trade Log just automatically import my trades for me?
A: The import from MT4 is almost automatic, but you do have to export the report from MT4. Why did we go that route when we designed the Log? Because if we made it totally automatic, you would lose the ability to group individual trades together into allocation breakdown bundles, which are so useful when you want to have that option. Each trade could only be brought in as its own thing, just as the broker reports it. It you ever scale into a trade or pull off part of your position and leave the rest to run or do cost averaging or stop-reverse, then being able to bundle a multi-leg trade together makes all the difference in being able to understand what’s going on with your trading. So yes, it takes a few more seconds, but once you get it down, it only less than a minute in time.
Q: I want to import trades from a different broker that’s not on MT4
A: If you are a developer (or working with one) you may create your own import wizard by using the Software Development Kit (SDK) we have created for the Forex Smart Tools Trade Log. Use the Contact form to request this from us.
You or your developer will find within the SDK zipped file a PDF explaining how to write your code to create your own DLL that works with the Trade Log. The SDK contains complete source code for two of the standard DLLs. They are .dpr files and are written in Delphi. These examples will allow a developer to be able to follow the logic. The Forex Tester dpr file example is particularly simple.
In addition to the DLLs shown as examples in the SDK, we also have some DLLs we have developed over the years for brokers no longer offering MT4 or having changes their report format, so here are a few more examples.
Import from Excel ?
The Trade Log does not offer a general import wizard for Excel spreadsheets. There are so many ways you can configure a spreadsheet – but the import wizard needs extreme precision in knowing what data is located exactly where during the import process – that there are too many opportunities for it to fail. So the Trade Log does not provide that option.
Nevertheless, a few of the import formats we do offer are .csv or .txt files, which are formats that Excel can create. If you have a bit of experience with programming you may be able to look through our SDK (see the above FAQ) and find a way that you can work with your spreadsheet to create a matching format, and create your own import wizard, or modify your data enough to make it work with one of the existing wizards, such as the one for the Forex Tester, which is the most basic format. This is an operation that is not directly supported by us, but we do encourage you to experiment with it and see if you find a solution for yourself.
Excel tends to add a lot of its own formatting in any version it saves, so you may need to also run your data through one more step of some word processing to strip out some formatting. An excellent and powerful word processor is called Notepad++ and is available free from the website notepad-plus-plus.org. This program has great features for find and replace and for displaying invisible characters inserted by other programs.
Match import with existing trades
Q: I like to enter the info about a trade before I take it. How do I tell the import wizard which trade to link to?
A: The import wizard looks at ticket numbers. So once you enter a trade, you can manually enter the ticket number in the trade input window that you’ve made all your notes and trade plan on – then do the import – and the wizard will find it and fill in all the details for you about lot size, entry and exit times and prices, commission or swap fees and gross value.
In fact you’ll notice when you do the import that the trade is shown in blue, highlighting the fact that the wizard recognizes it. If it’s not blue, you may want to cancel the wizard and go back to make sure you have entered the ticket number correctly. If you have a typo in your manual entry, then the wizard will not know how to pair the actual trade to your trade plan page.
This works great if you do not scale into or out of a trade, but rather have a single entry and exit per trade. If you do scale in or scale out and have multi-leg trades, then it’s a bit more challenging.
Error Message: “This Import starts before the broker’s first equity entry”
You may get a message saying:
This Import starts before the broker’s first equity entry. You can’t trade without equity, please move the date of the broker account’s first equity entry and try processing this import again.
When you first create a new account on the accounts page, you set up a starting equity amount. As an example, let’s say the funding date you pick is be July 1, 2019 – as an example.
Sometime later you forget you picked July and you decide to do an import from the beginning of the year, so you can have all this year’s trades in your Log, ready to do in-depth analysis and record keeping.
Ah! But the Trade Log is cleverly recognizing that you told it you don’t have any money in this account until July – so it is giving you a warning about this and alerting you to an error. Where was the money to trade with in January, February… June ?
Here’s the easy solution:
- Go to the Accounts tab.
2) Find that account you are trying to import into and click on EDIT EQUITY.
3) Find the listing for the account’s opening funding and click it. If you don’t find it in the list, expand the date range at the top of that dialog window further back in time and further into the future.
4) When you find the “Account Opening”, change the date to be before your first trade in your imported statement.
5) Now you’ll be able to import your trade statement without a problem, and all your equity values will be correct.
Mapping custom parameters
Q: I’ve created a custom parameter and I want to map my comment, SL or TP to it, but it doesn’t show up in the import wizard mapping menu
A custom parameter has to be clicked ON ☑️ within the setup page before it will show up in the import wizard mapping menu. Quit the import wizard and go back to your setup page and make sure everything you want to see has a ☑️ check in the box next to it, then try again.