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Highcharts vs Recharts: What are the differences?

Highcharts and Recharts are two popular JavaScript libraries used for data visualization on websites. While they both serve the same purpose, there are several key differences between them that can impact developers' choices when it comes to selecting the appropriate library for their projects.

  1. Supported Chart Types: Highcharts offers a wide range of chart types, including line, area, column, bar, pie, scatter, and more. On the other hand, Recharts provides a more limited selection of chart types, focusing primarily on line, area, bar, and scatter charts. This difference in supported chart types may influence the choice between the two libraries based on specific project requirements.

  2. Customizability: Highcharts provides extensive customization options, allowing developers to modify various aspects of the charts, such as colors, labels, legends, tooltips, and more. Recharts, while still customizable, offers a more limited set of customization options compared to Highcharts. If a high level of customization is crucial for a project, Highcharts might be the better choice.

  3. Documentation and Community Support: Highcharts has been around for a longer time and has a larger user base, resulting in a more extensive documentation and community support. Recharts, being relatively newer, may have a smaller community and documentation in comparison. The availability of comprehensive documentation and a strong community can greatly aid developers in troubleshooting issues and learning the libraries effectively.

  4. Rendering Performance: Highcharts utilizes SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics) for rendering the charts, which provides better scalability and responsiveness. Recharts, on the other hand, uses React components and leverages SVG under the hood, making it suitable for projects already utilizing React. The choice of library may depend on the specific performance requirements and existing technology stack of the project.

  5. Animations: Highcharts includes built-in animation capabilities, allowing developers to create visually appealing and interactive charts. Recharts also supports animation but has a more limited range of animated effects compared to Highcharts. If creating dynamic and visually engaging charts with advanced animations is a priority, Highcharts may be the preferred option.

  6. License: Highcharts is available under both commercial and free licenses, with certain limitations and restrictions for the latter. Recharts, on the other hand, is released under the MIT license, making it ideal for open-source and non-commercial projects. The choice of license may influence the decision between the two libraries based on project requirements and licensing preferences.

In summary, Highcharts offers a wider range of supported chart types, extensive customization options, and better documentation and community support, while Recharts leverages React components and has a simpler license. The choice between the two libraries ultimately depends on specific project requirements and trade-offs in terms of chart types, customization, performance, animation, and licensing preferences.

Advice on Highcharts and Recharts
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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 · 134.6K 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 Recharts
  • 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
  • 10
    Very intuitive API
  • 8
    Built for React, from scratch
  • 7
  • 5
    Composable chart elements
  • 3
    Easy to use
  • 2
    MIT license

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Cons of Highcharts
Cons of Recharts
  • 9
  • 1
    Not considered time series charts

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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 Recharts?

Quickly build your charts with decoupled, reusable React components. Built on top of SVG elements with a lightweight dependency on D3 submodules.

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What companies use Highcharts?
What companies use Recharts?
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What tools integrate with Highcharts?
What tools integrate with Recharts?
What are some alternatives to Highcharts and Recharts?
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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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