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Chart.js vs Highcharts: What are the differences?

Chart.js and Highcharts are both popular JavaScript libraries for creating interactive and visually appealing charts and graphs on the web. Let's explore the key differences between them.

  1. Features and Customizations: Chart.js provides limited customization options and features compared to Highcharts. While both libraries offer various chart types, Highcharts offers more advanced features such as export options, drilldown functionality, and data aggregation. Highcharts also allows developers to create custom chart types and combine multiple charts, providing more flexibility in visualization.

  2. Pricing and Licensing: Chart.js is open-source and released under the MIT license, making it free to use for both personal and commercial projects. On the other hand, Highcharts offers both free and commercial licenses. The free license has limited functionality and requires the display of a Highcharts logo, while the commercial license provides full features and removes the logo requirement.

  3. Community and Documentation: Chart.js has a comparatively smaller community and documentation base compared to Highcharts. Highcharts has been around for a longer time and has a larger user community, providing extensive documentation, sample codes, and community-driven support forums. This can be beneficial for developers seeking assistance, tutorials, and examples for implementing complex charting solutions.

  4. Performance and Rendering: Highcharts is known for its superior performance and smooth rendering of charts, even with larger datasets. It utilizes a fully optimized SVG rendering engine that ensures fast and efficient chart generation. Chart.js, although capable of handling moderate datasets, may experience performance issues and rendering lag when dealing with more complex visualizations or larger datasets.

  5. Compatibility and Integration: Chart.js offers better compatibility with modern web development frameworks and libraries, with seamless integration with React, Angular, and Vue.js. It provides dedicated components and plugins for these frameworks, simplifying the implementation process. Highcharts, on the other hand, may require additional effort or third-party libraries for integration with certain frameworks.

  6. Accessibility and Responsiveness: Highcharts places a strong emphasis on accessibility and responsive design. It provides built-in features like keyboard navigation support, screen reader compatibility, and responsive resizing of charts for optimal viewing across different devices. While Chart.js does offer some level of responsiveness, it may require more manual configuration and customization to achieve the same level of accessibility and responsiveness as Highcharts.

In summary, Chart.js is a lightweight, open-source library with limited features, while Highcharts offers a wider range of advanced features, better performance, and extensive documentation and support.

Advice on Highcharts and Chart.js
Needs advice

I have used highcharts and it is pretty awesome for my previous project. now as I am about to start my new project I want to use other charting libraries such as recharts, chart js, Nivo, d3 js.... my upcoming project might use react js as front end and laravel as a backend technology. the project would be of hotel management type. please suggest me the best charts to use

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Replies (1)
Darren Adams
Senior Developer at Burning Glass Technologies · | 2 upvotes · 144.2K views

I've used Highcharts with both Angular Js Reactive applications (render as ReactJs) and also a bit of D3. Personally I found Highcharts to be the easiest to use but, with still quite a good level of customisability if you need it. graphs and charts then give D3 a try.

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Pros of Highcharts
Pros of Chart.js
  • 34
    Low learning curve and powerful
  • 17
    Multiple chart types such as pie, bar, line and others
  • 13
    Responsive charts
  • 9
    Handles everything you throw at it
  • 8
    Extremely easy-to-parse documentation
  • 5
    Built-in export chart as-is to image file
  • 5
    Easy to customize color scheme and palettes
  • 1
    Export on server side, can be used in email
  • 19
    Offers all types of charts
  • 14
    Interactive Charts
  • 10
    It's totally free

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Cons of Highcharts
Cons of Chart.js
  • 9
  • 12
    Slow rendering
  • 2
    Bitmap quality export
  • 1
    Low quality zoom plugin
  • 0
    It's totally free

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- No public GitHub repository available -

What is Highcharts?

Highcharts currently supports line, spline, area, areaspline, column, bar, pie, scatter, angular gauges, arearange, areasplinerange, columnrange, bubble, box plot, error bars, funnel, waterfall and polar chart types.

What is Chart.js?

Visualize your data in 6 different ways. Each of them animated, with a load of customisation options and interactivity extensions.

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What companies use Highcharts?
What companies use Chart.js?
See which teams inside your own company are using Highcharts or Chart.js.
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What tools integrate with Highcharts?
What tools integrate with Chart.js?
What are some alternatives to Highcharts and Chart.js?
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amCharts is an advanced charting library that will suit any data visualization need. Our charting solution include Column, Bar, Line, Area, Step, Step without risers, Smoothed line, Candlestick, OHLC, Pie/Donut, Radar/ Polar, XY/Scatter/Bubble, Bullet, Funnel/Pyramid charts as well as Gauges.
Tableau can help anyone see and understand their data. Connect to almost any database, drag and drop to create visualizations, and share with a click.
Google Charts
It is an interactive Web service that creates graphical charts from user-supplied information. The user supplies data and a formatting specification expressed in JavaScript embedded in a Web page; in response the service sends an image of the chart.
It is an open source visualization library implemented in JavaScript, runs smoothly on PCs and mobile devices, and is compatible with most current browsers.
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