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Plotly vs CanvasJS : What are the differences?

What is Plotly? The Web's fastest growing charting libraries. Plotly.js is the only open-source JavaScript library for data visualization in the sciences and engineering. Open-source interfaces to Plotly.js are available for Python, R, MATLAB, and React.

What is CanvasJS ? Beautiful HTML5 Charts Library built on JavaScript & HTML5 Canvas Element. It runs across devices including iPhone, iPad, Android, Windows Phone, Microsoft Surface, Desktops, etc. This allows you to create Rich Dashboards that work across devices without compromising on Maintainability or Functionality.

Plotly and CanvasJS belong to "Charting Libraries" category of the tech stack.

Some of the features offered by Plotly are:

  • Feature parity with MATLAB/matplotlib graphing
  • Online chart editor
  • Fully interactive (hover, zoom, pan)

On the other hand, CanvasJS provides the following key features:

  • Themes
  • Chart Types
  • Interactivity

Plotly and CanvasJS are both open source tools. Plotly with 10.7K GitHub stars and 1.24K forks on GitHub appears to be more popular than CanvasJS with 2 GitHub stars and 2 GitHub forks.

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Pros of CanvasJS
Pros of Plotly.js
  • 2
    30+ Chart Types
  • 1
    Easy Customizations
  • 1
    Zooming, Panning
  • 1
    Dynamic Charts
  • 1
    Multiseries Charts
  • 1
    Drilldown Charts
  • 1
    Multiple Axis Support
  • 1
  • 1
    Synchronized Charts
  • 1
  • 1
    Easy Customization
  • 1
    Works across Devices and Browsers
  • 1
    Well Documented
  • 1
    Simple API
  • 1
    Responsive Charts
  • 1
  • 1
    Exporting as Image
  • 1
    Low learning curve
  • 16
    Bindings to popular languages like Python, Node, R, etc
  • 10
    Integrated zoom and filter-out tools in charts and maps
  • 9
    Great support for complex and multiple axes
  • 8
    Powerful out-of-the-box featureset
  • 6
    Beautiful visualizations
  • 4
    Active user base
  • 4
    Impressive support for webgl 3D charts
  • 3
    Charts are easy to share with a cloud account
  • 3
    Webgl chart types are extremely performant
  • 2
    Publication quality image export
  • 2
    Interactive charts
  • 2
    Easy to use online editor for creating plotly.js charts

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Cons of CanvasJS
Cons of Plotly.js
  • 1
    It's not free
  • 17
    Terrible document

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- No public GitHub repository available -

What is CanvasJS ?

Lightweight, Beautiful & Responsive Charts that make your dashboards fly even with millions of data points! Self-Hosted, Secure & Scalable charts that render across devices.

What is Plotly.js?

It is a standalone Javascript data visualization library, and it also powers the Python and R modules named plotly in those respective ecosystems (referred to as and Plotly.R). It can be used to produce dozens of chart types and visualizations, including statistical charts, 3D graphs, scientific charts, SVG and tile maps, financial charts and more.

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What companies use CanvasJS ?
What companies use Plotly.js?
See which teams inside your own company are using CanvasJS or Plotly.js.
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What tools integrate with CanvasJS ?
What tools integrate with Plotly.js?

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What are some alternatives to CanvasJS and Plotly.js?
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Visualize your data in 6 different ways. Each of them animated, with a load of customisation options and interactivity extensions.
It is a Python 2D plotting library which produces publication quality figures in a variety of hardcopy formats and interactive environments across platforms. It can be used in Python scripts, the Python and IPython shells, the Jupyter notebook, web application servers, and four graphical user interface toolkits.
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