A Comprehensive Guide to Using the ZigZag Indicator

The ZigZag indicator is a tool traders use to identify changes in the direction of a financial instrument’s price movement. It draws vertical lines connecting the highs and lows of a price swing, allowing traders to easily visualize the instrument’s progress from point A to point B. The ZigZag indicator also helps traders cancel out market noise and identify a financial instrument’s key trends and patterns.

The ZigZag indicator is a graphical tool that displays price movements in a series of waves or zigzags. It does not predict future trends or reversals; instead, it offers traders a better visualization of their data for more accurate analysis. This indicator is usually used as a background tool, as it provides less interactivity than other indicators.

The ZigZag indicator is a great tool in your trading toolbox, particularly during high volatility. It can be combined with other indicators and strategies to identify potential entry points better. By honing in on the swing highs and lows, traders can capitalize on the market’s price movements more precisely.

In this guide, we will discuss the workings of the ZigZag indicator and the scenarios in which this tool is most useful. We’ll go through how to customize the indicator to fit your needs and how to use it to make the most out of your trading experience. Additionally, we’ll provide examples of market conditions in which the ZigZag indicator can be particularly advantageous.

Key Takeaways🔑

The ZigZag indicator allows traders to identify changes in the direction of a financial instrument’s price movement, helping to visualize the progress from point A to point B.
It serves as a tool for identifying key trends and patterns, focusing on significant price changes and ignoring minor fluctuations.
Used wisely, the ZigZag indicator can be a powerful addition to a trading toolbox, especially when combined with other indicators and trading strategies.


The ZigZag Indicator

The ZigZag indicator is a tool that allows traders to observe price movements on a chart more by highlighting highs and lows. It is often used with other indicators to identify trends and ascertain the strength of the direction. Highs and lows expressed on the ZigZag indicator that is higher in value than the prior highs and lows indicate a rising trend, and conversely, lower highs and lows indicate the trend is falling. By interpreting the ZigZag indicator, traders can understand the current trend direction.

How the ZigZag Indicator Works

The ZigZag indicator helps us to identify patterns in the market by canceling out the noise and giving us a clearer picture of the present condition of the market. To trade with the ZigZag indicator, one must set a specific point for the indicator to start and another for it to end. For current sessions, an endpoint does not require to be set. Additionally, one can use other indicators along with ZigZag to get an easier implementation method into their trading strategy. This can be useful in helping to identify patterns in the market.

The ZigZag indicator is a tool that helps identify the major highs and lows of a currency pair over a given period of time. It will show how much the exchange rate has changed from the starting point to the current point. The ZigZag indicator will display the biggest increases and decreases in the exchange rate and will ignore minor fluctuations between the highs and lows. This tool can be used to identify the overall trend of a currency pair over a specific period of time.

The Forex ZigZag indicator gives us an overview of the performance of a currency pair throughout a given period. It displays four distinct lines that showcase the highest and lowest points the pair has reached within a week. This helps traders easily recognize a currency pair’s potential and how much it can be affected by market sentiment.

How to Use ZigZag Indicator in Forex Trading

ZigZag is an indicator that can help traders identify changes in the price of a security. It connects successive highs and lows in a chart and filters out small price movements. This allows traders to spot trends quickly and decide when to buy or sell. ZigZag is a lagging indicator so it does not provide trading signals directly but can be used in combination with other indicators to provide traders with a better understanding of the price movement. It is best used in trending markets by trend traders.

3 Mistakes to Avoid When Using ZigZag Indicator on MT4

No matter how simple it may appear to use this tool, even experienced traders can make mistakes. It’s important for beginners to be aware of this and strive to ensure everything runs smoothly.

  • Only Using the ZigZag Indicator

The ZigZag indicator helps traders identify a trend’s start and endpoints. It can provide valuable insight into the market direction but should not be relied upon solely to make trading decisions. It is best used in conjunction with other analysis methods to gain a fuller understanding of the market and possible trading opportunities.

  • Relying Too Much on Manual Calculation

Rather than relying on market session opening or closing times, you could opt for manual calculations tailored to your needs. However, this may lead to problems as human calculations are often prone to mistakes. Employing an algorithm created specifically for the ZigZag indicator would be wiser, as it will complete the calculations quickly, with minimal error.

  • Using the ZigZag Without Understanding the Elliot Wave Theory

The ZigZag indicator is a tool that helps traders identify trends and important turning points in the market by plotting points along a chart that represent significant highs and lows. This helps highlight the market’s main direction and can be used to make more accurate predictions about future price movements. The ZigZag indicator works best when combined with other trading indicators, such as Elliot Wave Theory, which can provide traders with additional insight into the market.

ZigZag Indicator MT4 Settings

The ZigZag indicator is used to measure big price movements on a chart. It connects the highest and lowest points of the chart, ignoring small price changes, and will only show when there is a certain percentage of price movement. To use this indicator, you need to set the percentage of price movement to be considered significant. The default value is five percent, but you can increase it to ten percent if you want to ignore smaller movements and focus on larger ones.

ZigZag is a tool used in technical analysis to filter out small, insignificant price movements to focus on larger price changes. A line connecting the points is created by plotting points on a chart where the price has reversed by a certain percentage. This line shows the overall trend of the currency pair, allowing the analyst to look at the bigger picture without being distracted by minor fluctuations.

The ZigZag indicator’s Depth setting is the minimum number of bars that need to pass without a new minimum or maximum point being formed before the indicator will display a new point. The amount of ‘Deviation’ is the number of pips or points that need to be surpassed before a new minimum or maximum point is recognized.

Backstep is a way to set the minimum number of bars between the highest and lowest price on a chart. The number of bars can be adjusted for different markets and instruments, as different markets can have different levels of volatility. Depending on the market conditions, you may need to adjust the settings to get the best results.

  • Spotting Tops and Bottoms

The ZigZag indicator is a tool used by traders to identify tops and bottoms in a chart and to determine the general direction of a trend. It works by connecting extreme highs and lows on a chart with a line and then connecting the new highs and lows with a line. This lets traders quickly identify when a trend has changed direction and when a new high or low has been reached. The ZigZag indicator can be adjusted to different settings, allowing traders to identify higher highs, higher lows, lower highs, and lower lows, depending on the settings used. This can make it easier to assess the direction of a trend.

  • Price Entries

A trader might take a position when they spot the 1-2-3 pattern. This pattern involves a bottom, a correction, a retest of the bottom, and a rebound. It usually appears at the end of a trend or swing and may also be seen within a sideways price action. The ZigZag tool is a great way to quickly notice this pattern, allowing traders to take a position at the right time.

  • Harmonic Patterns

The ZigZag indicator is a tool used by traders to identify patterns in the market. By plotting the highs and lows of the market, it can be used to build harmonic patterns. Unfortunately, the indicator can be unreliable as the last leg of the pattern may be changed when new data points are added, meaning the pattern may not be accurate.

  • AB=CD Pattern

The AB=CD pattern is a four-point price movement in which the initial segment (AB) is partially retraced and followed by an equivalent move (CD) from the completion of the pullback. The BC section is usually a 61.8-78.6 percent retracement of AB. The CD leg is then extended to 127.2-161.8 percent, which is equal in price distance to AB. The AB=CD pattern can be plotted on a chart by using the ZigZag indicator.

  • ZigZag and Fibonacci Tools

The ZigZag indicator and Fibonacci levels can be used together to try and predict market movements. By combining the two, the Fibonacci levels become more predictable based on the wave count at that time. The ZigZag indicator plots the Fibonacci levels, arcs, and time zones on a chart, which can then be used to analyze and trade the market. This is a great way to utilize both indicators to gain an edge in the markets.

ZigZag Channels and Patterns

The ZigZag indicator can be a powerful tool when used together with channels. By combining the ZigZag indicator with channel indicators, traders can filter out the insignificant price action fluctuations and better understand the larger price movements. This should give them a clearer picture of the market and better insight into their trading decisions.

  • Multiple ZigZags on the Chart

Using this indicator involves plotting multiple ZigZag indicators on your chart, each with a different deviation parameter. When the smaller deviation ZigZag indicator is pointing in the opposite direction of the larger deviation ZigZag indicator, this could be an indication to make a trade in the same direction as the larger deviation ZigZag indicator.

  • Wolfe Waves

Wolfe Waves, named after the trader who identified them, is a pattern of price movements formed by the market’s interaction between supply and demand forces. This pattern consists of five successive waves that indicate where the price is heading and when it will get there. Wolfe Waves are present in all time frames and can help traders decide when to buy and sell.

Using the ZigZag Indicator

The ZigZag indicator is useful for examining past price patterns and recognizing potential trends. It does not guarantee future movement in any direction, but it can provide a clearer view of price activity, allowing traders to make more informed decisions. By calculating highs and lows, traders can better understand what has happened in the past and anticipate potential future outcomes.

The ZigZag indicator helps filter out the market’s noise and makes it easier to spot trends. It takes all the price movements and draws a line between the highs and lows so that the trader can more easily see the momentum of the price. By straightening out the chart, it can be used in combination with other analysis tools to predict future market movements better.

This tutorial explains that the ZigZag indicator can be difficult to use as it requires complicated calculations. Utilizing the automated calculator within the indicator is suggested to make the process easier.

Pros and Cons of Using the ZigZag Indicator 👍👎


  • Helps filter out market noise by focusing on significant price changes
  • Allows for better visualization of price trends and patterns
  • Can be used in conjunction with other indicators and strategies to improve trading decisions


  • Does not predict future trends or reversals
  • Could potentially mislead traders if relied upon exclusively for decision-making
  • Requires understanding and correct interpretation for effective use

Aspect of the ZigZag Indicator Significance in Trading
Identification of Price Changes Helps traders visualize and identify significant price changes in a financial instrument’s direction, enabling more informed trading decisions.
Visualization of Trends and Patterns Improves the identification of key trends and patterns by filtering out minor price fluctuations and market noise.
Combination with Other Indicators Enhances the accuracy of trading decisions when used with other indicators, such as Elliot Wave Theory.


The ZigZag indicator is a powerful technical tool for traders, as it can be used to identify trend reversals, support and resistance levels, and to measure price movements. Understanding the basics of the ZigZag indicator, its various uses, and how to properly incorporate it into a trading strategy is important, as well as how to avoid common mistakes when using the ZigZag indicator. 

Ultimately, it is up to the trader to decide how to use the ZigZag indicator and when to incorporate it into their trading strategy. However, this guide has provided the necessary information to help traders make informed decisions and use the ZigZag indicator most effectively.

Olymp Trade is one of the best platforms for online trading in the financial markets for professionals and novices alike. If you want to navigate the Olymp Trade platform, get the best trading tips and tactics, and learn more about using the ZigZag indicator, we can help! Visit our website today!

Q&A on ZigZag Indicator 💡

  • Q: How does the ZigZag indicator help in trading?
  • A: The ZigZag indicator helps traders identify significant price changes, visualize key trends, and patterns, and filter out minor fluctuations and market noise.
  • Q: Can the ZigZag indicator be used on its own for trading?
  • A: While the ZigZag indicator provides valuable insights into the market direction, it should not be relied upon solely. It works best when used with other indicators and trading strategies.
  • Q: Does the ZigZag indicator predict future trends or reversals?
  • A: The ZigZag indicator does not predict future trends or reversals. It instead offers traders a clearer visualization of price data for more accurate analysis.
  • Q: How does the ZigZag indicator differ from other trading indicators?
  • A: Unlike some indicators, the ZigZag focuses on significant price changes, ignoring minor fluctuations. It thus provides a less cluttered view of price movements.
  • Q: Can beginners use the ZigZag indicator?
  • A: Yes, but they need to understand its workings and interpretation for effective use. It’s also advisable to use it in conjunction with other indicators and trading strategies.

How useful was this post?

Click on a star to rate it!

Average rating 3.8 / 5. Vote count: 6

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this post.

As you found this post useful...

Follow us on social media!

We are sorry that this post was not useful for you!

Let us improve this post!

Tell us how we can improve this post?

Bart Bregman

Full time day trading, and helping out with Olymp Trade wiki in my spare time to create an awesome platform for beginners. I'm a digital nomad that travels the world while working from everywhere!

Recent Posts

This is default text for notification bar