Highcharts - Quick Guide


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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
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 our subsequent chapters, we will discuss each type of above mentioned charts in details with examples.

Licence

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

Highcharts - Environment Setup

In this chapter, we will discuss how to set up the Highcharts library to be used in web application development.

Highcharts requires jQuery as a dependency. First, we will install the jQuery library and then the Highcharts library.

Install jQuery

There are two ways to use jQuery.

  • Download − Download it locally from jQuery.com and use it.

  • CDN access − You also have access to a CDN. The CDN will give you access around the world to regional data centers; in this case, Google host. This means using CDN moves the responsibility of hosting files from your own servers to a series of external ones. This also offers an advantage that if the visitor to your webpage has already downloaded a copy of jQuery from the same CDN, it will not have to be re-downloaded.

Using Downloaded jQuery

Include the jQuery JavaScript file in the HTML page using the following script −

<head>
   <script src = "/jquery/jquery.min.js"></script>
</head>

Using CDN

We are using the CDN versions of the jQuery library throughout this tutorial.

Include the jQuery JavaScript file in the HTML page using the following script −

<head>
   <script src = "https://ajax.googleapis.com/ajax/libs/jquery/2.1.3/jquery.min.js">
   </script>
</head>

Install Highcharts

The following are the two ways to use Highcharts.

  • Download − Download it locally from highcharts.com and use it.

  • CDN access − You also have access to a CDN. The CDN will give you access around the world to regional data centers; in this case, the Highcharts host - Code.Highcharts.Com.

Using Downloaded Highcharts

Include the Highcharts JavaScript file in the HTML page using the following script −

<head>
   <script src = "/highcharts/highcharts.js"></script>
</head>

Using CDN

We are using the CDN versions of the Highcharts library throughout this tutorial.

Include the Highcharts JavaScript file in the HTML page using the following script −

<head>
   <script src = "https://code.highcharts.com/highcharts.js"></script>
</head>

Highcharts - Configuration Syntax

In this chapter, we will showcase the configuration required to draw a chart using the Highcharts API.

Step 1: Create HTML Page

Create an HTML page with the jQuery and Highcharts javascript libraries.

HighchartsTestHarness.htm

<html>
   <head>
      <title>Highcharts Tutorial</title>
      <script src = "https://ajax.googleapis.com/ajax/libs/jquery/2.1.3/jquery.min.js">
      </script>
      <script src = "https://code.highcharts.com/highcharts.js"></script>
   </head>
   
   <body>
      <div id = "container" style = "width: 550px; height: 400px; margin: 0 auto"></div>
      
      <script language = "JavaScript">
         $(document).ready(function() {
         });
      </script>
      
   </body>
</html>

Here the container div is used to contain the chart drawn using Highcharts library.

Step 2: Create Configurations

Highcharts library uses very simple configurations using json syntax.

$('#container').highcharts(json);

Here json represents the json data and configuration which the Highcharts library uses to draw a chart within the container div using the highcharts() method. Now, we will configure the various parameters to create the required json string.

title

Configure the title of the chart.

var title = {
   text: 'Monthly Average Temperature'   
};

subtitle

Configure the subtitle of the chart.

var subtitle = {
   text: 'Source: WorldClimate.com'
};

xAxis

Configure the ticker to be displayed on the X-Axis.

var xAxis = {
   categories: ['Jan', 'Feb', 'Mar', 'Apr', 'May', 'Jun'
      ,'Jul', 'Aug', 'Sep', 'Oct', 'Nov', 'Dec']
};

yAxis

Configure the title, plot lines to be displayed on the Y-Axis.

var yAxis = {
   title: {
      text: 'Temperature (\xB0C)'
   },
   plotLines: [{
      value: 0,
      width: 1,
      color: '#808080'
   }]
};  

tooltip

Configure the tooltip. Put suffix to be added after value (y-axis).

var tooltip = {
   valueSuffix: '\xB0C'
}

legend

Configure the legend to be displayed on the right side of the chart along with other properties.

var legend = {
   layout: 'vertical',
   align: 'right',
   verticalAlign: 'middle',
   borderWidth: 0
};

series

Configure the data to be displayed on the chart. Series is an array where each element of this array represents a single line on the chart.

var series = [
   {
      name: 'Tokyo',
      data: [7.0, 6.9, 9.5, 14.5, 18.2, 21.5, 25.2, 26.5, 23.3, 18.3, 13.9, 9.6]
   }, 
   {
      name: 'New York',
      data: [-0.2, 0.8, 5.7, 11.3, 17.0, 22.0, 24.8, 24.1, 20.1, 14.1, 8.6, 2.5]
   }, 
   {
      name: 'Berlin',
      data: [-0.9, 0.6, 3.5, 8.4, 13.5, 17.0, 18.6, 17.9, 14.3, 9.0, 3.9, 1.0]
   }, 
   {
      name: 'London',
      data: [3.9, 4.2, 5.7, 8.5, 11.9, 15.2, 17.0, 16.6, 14.2, 10.3, 6.6, 4.8]
   }
];

Step 3: Build the json data

Combine all the configurations.

var json = {};

json.title = title;
json.subtitle = subtitle;
json.xAxis = xAxis;
json.yAxis = yAxis;
json.tooltip = tooltip;
json.legend = legend;
json.series = series;

Step 4: Draw the chart

$('#container').highcharts(json);

Example

Consider the following example to further understand the Configuration Syntax −

highcharts_configuration.htm

<html>
   <head>
      <title>Highcharts Tutorial</title>
      <script src = "https://ajax.googleapis.com/ajax/libs/jquery/2.1.3/jquery.min.js">
      </script>
      <script src = "https://code.highcharts.com/highcharts.js"></script> 
   </head>
   
   <body>
      <div id = "container" style = "width: 550px; height: 400px; margin: 0 auto"></div>
      <script language = "JavaScript">
         $(document).ready(function() {
            var title = {
               text: 'Monthly Average Temperature'   
            };
            var subtitle = {
               text: 'Source: WorldClimate.com'
            };
            var xAxis = {
               categories: ['Jan', 'Feb', 'Mar', 'Apr', 'May', 'Jun',
                  'Jul', 'Aug', 'Sep', 'Oct', 'Nov', 'Dec']
            };
            var yAxis = {
               title: {
                  text: 'Temperature (\xB0C)'
               },
               plotLines: [{
                  value: 0,
                  width: 1,
                  color: '#808080'
               }]
            };   

            var tooltip = {
               valueSuffix: '\xB0C'
            }
            var legend = {
               layout: 'vertical',
               align: 'right',
               verticalAlign: 'middle',
               borderWidth: 0
            };
            var series =  [{
                  name: 'Tokyo',
                  data: [7.0, 6.9, 9.5, 14.5, 18.2, 21.5, 25.2,
                     26.5, 23.3, 18.3, 13.9, 9.6]
               }, 
               {
                  name: 'New York',
                  data: [-0.2, 0.8, 5.7, 11.3, 17.0, 22.0, 24.8, 
                     24.1, 20.1, 14.1, 8.6, 2.5]
               }, 
               {
                  name: 'Berlin',
                  data: [-0.9, 0.6, 3.5, 8.4, 13.5, 17.0, 18.6,
                     17.9, 14.3, 9.0, 3.9, 1.0]
               }, 
               {
                  name: 'London',
                  data: [3.9, 4.2, 5.7, 8.5, 11.9, 15.2, 17.0, 
                     16.6, 14.2, 10.3, 6.6, 4.8]
               }
            ];

            var json = {};
            json.title = title;
            json.subtitle = subtitle;
            json.xAxis = xAxis;
            json.yAxis = yAxis;
            json.tooltip = tooltip;
            json.legend = legend;
            json.series = series;

            $('#container').highcharts(json);
         });
      </script>
   </body>
   
</html>

Result

Verify the result.

Highcharts - Line Charts

Line charts are used to draw line/spline based charts. In this section, we will discuss the different types of line and spline based charts.

Sr.No. Chart Type & Description
1 Basic line

Basic line chart.

2 With data labels

Chart with data labels.

3 Ajax loaded data, clickable points

Chart drawn after retrieving data from server.

4 Time series, zoomable

Chart with time series.

5 Spline with inverted axes

Spline chart having inverted axes.

6 Spline with symbols

Spline chart using symbols for heat/rain.

7 Spline with plot bands

Spline chart with plot bands.

8 Time data with irregular intervals

Chart of a large set of time based data.

9 Logarithmic axis

Chart depicting the logarithmic axis.

Highcharts - Area Charts

Area charts are used to draw area based charts. In this section, we will discuss the different types of area based charts.

Sr.No. Chart Type & Description
1 Basic Area

Basic area chart.

2 Area with negative values

Area chart having negative values.

3 Stacked area

Chart having areas stacked over one another.

4 Percentage area

Chart with data in percentage terms.

5 Area with missing points

Chart with missing points in the data.

6 Inverted axes

Area using inverted axes.

7 Area-spline

Area chart using spline.

8 Area range

Area chart using ranges.

9 Area range and line

Area chart using range and line.

Highcharts - Bar Charts

Bar charts are used to draw area based charts. In this section, we will discuss the different types of bar based charts.

Sr.No. Chart Type & Description
1 Basic Bar

Basic bar chart.

2 Stacked Bar

Bar chart having bar stacked over one another.

3 Negative Stacked area

Bar chart with negative stack.

Highcharts - Column Charts

Column charts are used to draw column based charts. In this section, we will discuss the different types of column based charts.

Sr.No. Chart Type & Description
1 Basic Column

Basic column chart.

2 Column with negative values

Column chart having negative values.

3 Stacked column

Chart having column stacked over one another.

4 Stacked and Grouped column

Chart with column in stacked and grouped form.

5 Column with stacked percentage

Chart with stacked percentage.

6 Column with rotated labels

Column Chart with rotated labels in columns.

7 Column with drilldown

Column Chart with drill down capability.

8 Column with fixed placement

Column Chart with fixed placement.

9 Data defined in HTML table

Column Chart using Data defined in HTML table.

10 Column Range

Column Chart using ranges.

Highcharts - Pie Charts

Pie charts are used to draw pie based charts. In this section, we will discuss the different types of pie based charts.

Sr.No. Chart Type & Description
1 Basic Pie

Basic pie chart.

2 Pie with Legends

Pie chart with Legends.

3 Donut Chart

Donut Chart.

4 Semi circle Donut

Semi circle Donut chart.

5 Pie with drill down

Pie chart with drill down capability.

6 Pie chart with gradient

Pie chart with gradient fill.

7 Pie chart with monochrome

Pie chart with monochrome fill.

Highcharts - Scatter Charts

Scatter charts are used to draw scatter based charts. In this section, we will discuss the different types of scatter based chart(s).

Sr.No. Chart Type & Description
1 Scatter Chart

Scatter Chart.

Highcharts - Bubble Charts

Bubble charts are used to draw bubble based charts. In this section, we will discuss the different types of bubble based chart(s).

Sr.No. Chart Type & Description
1 Bubbles Chart

Bubbles Chart.

2 3D Bubbles Chart

3D Bubbles Chart.

Highcharts - Dynamic Charts

Dynamic charts are used to draw data based charts where data can change after rendering of chart. In this section, we will discuss the different types of dynamic chart.

Sr.No. Chart Type & Description
1 Spline updating each second

Spline Chart updating each second.

2 Click to add a point

Chart with point addition capability.

Highcharts - Combinations

Combination charts are used to draw mixed charts; for example, bar chart with pie chart. In this section, we will discuss the different types of combinations charts.

Sr.No. Chart Type & Description
1 Column, Line and Pie

Chart with Column, Line and Pie.

2 Dual Axes, Line and Column

Chart with Dual Axes, Line and Column.

3 Multiple Axes

Chart having Multiple Axes.

4 Scatter with regression line

Scatter chart with regression line.

Highcharts - 3D Charts

3D charts are used to draw 3-dimensional charts. In this section, we will discuss the different types of 3D charts.

Sr.No. Chart Type & Description
1 3D Column

3D Column Chart.

2 3D Column with null

3D Column Chart with null and 0 values.

3 3D Column with stacking

3D Column Chart with stacking and grouping.

4 3D Pie

3D Pie Chart.

5 3D Donut

3D Donut Chart.

Highcharts - Angular Gauges

Angular Gauges charts are used to draw meter/gauge type charts. In this section, we will discuss the different types of Angular Gauges charts.

Sr.No. Chart Type & Description
1 Angular Gauge

Angular Gauge Chart.

2 Solid Gauge

Solid Gauge Chart.

3 Clock

Clock.

4 Gauge with dual axes

Gauge Chart with dual axes.

5 VU Meter

VU Meter Chart.

Highcharts - Heat Maps

Heat Map charts are used to draw heat map type charts. In this section, we will discuss the different types of Heat Maps.

Sr.No. Chart Type & Description
1 Heat Map

Heat Map.

2 Large Heat Map

Large Heat Map.

Highcharts - Tree Maps

Tree Map charts are used to draw tree map type charts. In this section, we will discuss the different types of Tree Maps.

Sr.No. Chart Type & Description
1 Tree Map

Tree Map with color axis.

2 Tree Map with Levels

Tree Map with Levels.

3 Large Tree Map

Large Tree Map.



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