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Add on-balance volume to chart

On-balance volume (OBV) is a technical indicator developed by Joseph Granville (USA). The calculations are very simple and easy to understand. If the close price of the current candlestick is higher than the close price of the precious candlestick, it will add the value of the turnover. If the close price of the current candlestick is lower than the previous, the value of the turnover will be deducted.

Here we will look at how to add OBV to a chart on MetaTrader5 (MT5). OBV can be set up from the menu or Navigator.

caution Substitute data for forex

Since it uses turnover, it is suited for symbols that have turnover data such as stocks. In forex trading, turnover data is unavailable since you're trading with forex brokers, so this is not used as often. If you cannot acquire turnover data, you can use the "tick volume" instead, which is the number of ticks provided by brokers in a given timeframe.

Step 1

Add OBV from the menu

Click "Insert" in the menu. Hover the pointer over "Indicators" > "Volumes" and select "On Balance Volume".

Select On Balance Volume Select On Balance Volume

Add OBV from the Navigator

On the Navigator, go to "Indicators" and click on the "+" sign next to "Volumes". Select "On Balance Volume" and drag it onto the chart you wish to apply it to.

Drag it onto the chart you wish to apply it to Drag it onto the chart you wish to apply it to

Or, right-click on "On Balance Volume" and select "Attach to Chart".

Select Attach to Chart Select Attach to Chart

Step 2

The setting window for OBV will appear. Set the parameters in the "Parameters", "Levels", "Scale", and "Visualization" tab and click "OK".

"Parameters" tab

Parameters tab Parameters tab


Item name




Set the volume for the OBV data. Volume for forex and CFD symbols not traded in the exchange cannot be calculated. In which case the system will use the tick volume instead of volume.
Tick: tick volume (number of ticks provided by brokers)
Real: real volume (traded volume)



Set the color, line type, and line thickness for OBV.

"Levels" tab

In the OBV sub-window, you can display horizontal lines at the specified levels. If you want to add a horizontal line, click "Add" and enter the number.

Display horizontal lines Display horizontal lines

"Scale" tab

Set the scale of the sub-window for OBV.

Scale settings Scale settings


Item name



Inherit scale

Check this box if you want to inherit the scale of the previous indicator when displaying multiple indicators on the same sub-window.


Scale by line

Specify where you want the OBV to show up on the sub-window. If you set the scale percentage to "50" and the scale value to "0", the scale of the vertical axis will be adjusted so that the scale value of "0" will be set at the 50% mark (max value is 100%).


Fixed minimum/maximum

Set the min/max value for sub-window to display the OBV

"Visualization" tab

In the "Visualization" tab, you can set the timeframes to display OBV. As OBV can only be displayed in a sub-window, it will be displayed in the sub-window even if "Show in Data Window" is unchecked.

Visualization tab Visualization tab

Step 3

OBV will be displayed on the sub-window of chart.

OBV will be displayed on the sub-window of chart OBV will be displayed on the sub-window of chart
knowledge Volume indicators

In general, indicators can be grouped into two categories: trend and oscillator indicators. These indicators are designed to focus on price fluctuations. On the other hand, OBV looks at turnover in addition to price fluctuations. Like OBV, indicators that focus on turnover are classified as volume-based.



 : 2022.08.25


Last updated

 : 2022.08.31


Takayoshi Nakamaru

Manual production consultant, MBA

Takayoshi Nakamaru

Nakamaru is a manual production consultant at FINTECS, a company that specializes in creating manuals for their clients.
With a wide range of experience from fintech to entertainment, he presents what user-friendly manuals should be like.
He works with numerous large corporations as an external manual production project manager.

【Business information】


Akira Takagi

Systems engineer, MetaTrader administrator

Akira Takagi

After graduating from Computer Science at the Uninove, Brazil, in 2014, he has worked on various systems development projects.
He participated as a developer in the launch of forex services in 2019. Since then, he has also been involved in the development of MetaTrader plugins and APIs. He is certified by MetaQuotes as a MetaTrader5 Administrator and active in consulting and advisory as well.

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