Highcharts – Overview

Highcharts – Overview

Highcharts is a pure JavaScript based charting library meant to enhance web applications by adding interactive charting capability. It supports a wide range of charts. Charts are drawn using SVG in standard browsers like Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Internet Explorer(IE). In legacy IE 6, VML is used to draw the graphics.


Following are the salient features of Highcharts library.

  • Compatability – Works seemlessly on all major browsers and mobile platforms like android and iOS.
  • Multitouch Support – Supports multitouch on touch screen based platforms like android and iOS.Ideal for iPhone/iPad and android based smart phones/ tablets.
  • Free to Use – Open source and is free to use for non-commercial purpose.
  • Lightweight – highcharts.js core library with size nearly 35KB, is extremely lightweight library.
  • Simple Configurations – Uses json to define various configuration of the charts and very easy to learn and use.
  • Dynamic – Allows to modify chart even after chart generation.
  • Multiple axes – Not restricted to x, y axis. Supports multiple axis on the charts.
  • Configurable tooltips – Tooltip comes when a user hover over any point on a charts. Highcharts provides tooltip inbuilt formatter or callback formatter to control the tooltip programmatically.
  • DateTime support – Handle date time specially. Provides numerous inbuilt controls over date wise categories.
  • Export – Export chart to PDF/ PNG/ JPG / SVG format by enabling export feature.
  • Print – Print chart using web page.
  • Zoomablity – Supports zooming chart to view data more precisely.
  • External data – Supports loading data dynamically from server. Provides control over data using callback functions.
  • Text Rotation – Supports rotation of labels in any direction.

Supported Chart Types

Highcharts library provides following types of charts:

Sr. No. Chart Type / Description
1 Line Charts
Used to draw line/spline based charts.
2 Area Charts
Used to draw area wise charts.
3 Pie Charts
Used to draw pie charts.
4 Scatter Charts
Used to draw scattered charts.
5 Bubble Charts
Used to draw bubble based charts.
6 Dynamic Charts
Used to draw dynamic charts where user can modify charts.
7 Combinations
Used to draw combinations of variety of charts.
8 3D Charts
Used to draw 3D charts.
9 Angular Gauges
Used to draw speedometer type charts.
10 Heat Maps
Used to draw heat maps.
11 Tree Maps
Used to draw tree maps.

In next chapters, we’re going to discuss each type of above mentioned charts in details with examples.


Highcharts is open source and is free to use for non-commercial purpose. In order to use Highcharts in commercial projects, follow the link: License and Pricing

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