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.

Features of Highcharts Library

Let us now discuss a few important features of the 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 an extremely lightweight library.

  • Simple Configurations − Uses json to define various configurations 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 hovers over any point on a chart. 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 the following types of charts −

Sr.No. Chart Type & Description

Line Charts

Used to draw line/spline based charts.


Area Charts

Used to draw area wise charts.


Pie Charts

Used to draw pie charts.


Scatter Charts

Used to draw scattered charts.


Bubble Charts

Used to draw bubble based charts.


Dynamic Charts

Used to draw dynamic charts where user can modify charts.



Used to draw combinations of variety of charts.


3D Charts

Used to draw 3D charts.


Angular Gauges

Used to draw speedometer type charts.


Heat Maps

Used to draw heat maps.


Tree Maps

Used to draw tree maps.

In our subsequent chapters, we will 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