JavaScript (HTML5) Charting Library Comparisons

Choosing a charting component is a complex task because the selection will have to be made considering both the present and the future graphing needs of your application. The table below compares the popular JavaScript (HTML5) charting libraries in the market — FusionCharts, HighCharts, Google Charts, extJS Charts, Chart.js, Flot, jqPlot and gRaphaël — on end output, device and browser support, chart types, features and support options.

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SummaryDelightful JavaScript charts for web and mobile applicationsDisplay live data on your sitePlugin-free Charting (part of the extJS framework)Powerful JavaScript library for manipulating documents based on dataInteractive JavaScript charts for your web projects
First released in20022007201120112009
Charts rendered inJavaScript (HTML5) Charts using SVG and VMLHTML5 charts using SVG and VMLJavaScript Charts using SVG and VMLSVGSVG and VML JavaScript (HTML5) Charts using SVG and VML
Input Data FormatJSON and XMLJavaScript APIJavaScript APIJSON and XMLJSON
Browsers SupportedAll modern web and mobile browsers, including IE6+All modern web and mobile browsers, including IE6+Modern web browsers. Need to use Sencha Touch for mobile web apps.All modern web and mobile browsers, For IE - 9 and aboveAll modern web and mobile browsers, including IE6+
Chart & Map Types90+ chart types in both 2D and 3D. 950+ maps spanning all continents, countries, US states and regions, European countries and counties etc.13 chart types in 2D. Maps available as GeoChart.13 chart types in 2D. Maps and 3D charts not supported.Does not come with pre-built charts, but a library of 200+ examples is available.25+ chart types
Source code available for download and modificationYesYesYesYesYes
LicensingDevelopment and testing licenses are free. Non watermarked product version free for non commercial use. Deployment licenses start at $399Free for all usage.Available only as part of Sencha Touch Bundle or Sencha Complete.BSD-3Per-developer licensing fee starts $390 per developer. Website licenses at $90. Non-commercial usage is free.
DocumentationExtensive documentation, getting started guides, detailed API references and integration examples. Tutorial-style explanation of the advanced capabilities.Getting started guide, detailed API references and simple examples.Getting started guide and API references.Text and video tutorials, API reference and a gallery of examplesGetting started guide, API references and simple examples.
Real-life business demos with source codeYes. Numerous plug-and-play real-life demos available for download with source code.FewYes. Extensive demos available.NoNo
Support OptionsPersonalized tech support and community forum with 20,000 active membersDiscussions GroupPersonalized tech support and community forumDiscussion groupPersonalized tech support
AnimationYesYes, but turned off by defaultYesYesYes
Drill-downsCan be configured in data or JavaScript code. Multi-level drill-downs made possible easily through LinkedCharts.Through JavaScript codeThrough JavaScript codeYesThrough JavaScript code
LegendYes. Interactive legend to show/hide data series. Conditional scroll bars for overflow.YesYesYesYes
ZoomingYes, with support for pinningNoNoYesYes
Scrolling / PanningYesNoNoNoYes
X-Axis Label ManagementIntelligent x-axis label management to avoid overlapping of labels. Automatically rotates labels, wraps labels or adds ellipses to long labels. Support for rotation and stepping.Not available.Not available.YesNot available. Labels overlap when no space is available, leading to a cluttered look.
Multiple AxisYesYesYesYesYes
Number FormattingIn-built with ability to provide suffix, prefix, and custom number scalingYesYesYesYes
Color palettes and themingIn-built palettes, and further customizations through attributes in dataUsing attributes in codeUsing SASS and CompassNoUsing additional JSON theme file or attributes in code
GradientsSupported, with full control over constituent colors, ratios, alphas and anglesNoYesYesYes
Ability to export charts as JPG, PNG or PDFYes. Support for PNG, JPG and PDF. Can use hosted export handlers, or host them yourself.NoNoNoYes
Native jQuery integrationYes, through FusionCharts jQuery pluginThrough third-party / community contributionsNoNoYes
JavaScript events exposed for chart and dataYesYesYesYesYes
Server-side APIs for easy integration, without having to write JavaScript codeYes, for ASP.NET, PHP, ASP, Java, Ruby on Rails etc.NoNoNoThrough third-party / community contributions
Custom vertical lines with labels to show milestones / information on x-axisYesNoNoNo inbuilt supportYes
Additional CommentsDifferent chart types in FusionCharts Suite offer additional features not listed here.The JavaScript files are loaded directly from Google's servers. So your application always has to be online to view the charts.While extremely flexible - it requires deep coding knowledge for implementation of visualizations.
Chart Types
Overview90+ chart types in both 2D and 3D. 950+ maps spanning all continents, countries, US states, European districts / counties etc.13 chart types in 2D. Maps available as GeoChart.13 chart types in 2D. Maps and 3D charts not supported.Powerful charting library best used for complex and non standard data visualizations. 25+ chart types in 2D. Maps and 3D charts are not supported.
Column ChartsYes. In 2D and 3D.Yes. In 2D only. Yes. In 2D only.YesYes. In 2D only.
Bar ChartsYes. In 2D and 3D.Yes. In 2D only.Yes. In 2D only.YesYes. In 2D only.
Line ChartsYes. With zooming, scrolling and pinning support.Yes. No zooming or panning.Yes. No zooming or panning.YesYes. With zooming and panning support.
Area ChartsYesYesYesYesYes
Pie & Donut ChartsYes. In 2D and 3D, with interactive rotation capability.Yes. In 2D and 3D.Yes. In 2D onlyYesYes. In 2D only.
Scatter (XY) & Bubble chartsYes, with interactive options on scatter chart to select groups of data points visuallyOnly Scatter charts. Bubble chart not available.YesYesYes, with interactive zooming
Stacked ChartsYes, with 100% stacking supportYesYesYesYes
Pareto ChartsYes, with 100% stacking supportYesYesNoYes
Candlestick / stock chartsYesYesNoCandlestickYes
Speedometer / Gauge ChartYesYesYesYesYes
Funnel & Pyramid ChartsYes. In 2D and 3D.NoNoNoYes. No pyramid chart.
Mekko / Marimekko ChartsYesNoNoYesNo
Bullet GraphsYesNoNoNoNo
Gantt ChartsYesNoNoNoNo
Mini or Micro Charts like Sparklines, Columns and Win/loss chartsYesDeprecatedNoSparklinesNo
Charts with scrolling capabilitiesYes, in all column, line, area, stacked and combination chartsNoNoNoNo
Combination of column, line and area charts across multiple axisYes, including combinations for 3D columnsYesYesNoYes
Linear, LED & Bulb GaugesYesNoNoNoNo
Thermometer and cylinder chartsYesNoNoYesNo
Heatmap chartsYesNoNoYesNo
Log and Inverse Axis ChartsYesYesYesLogYes
Spline ChartsYesYesYesNoYes
Error Bar & Scatter chartsYesYesNoYesYes
Node diagrams for network simulation, organization chartsYesNoNoYesNo
Visually editable charts that allow drag-n-drop change of dataYes - in column, area and lineNoNoNoNo
Additional chart types supportedError bar & scatter, Box & Whisker Plot, Multi-level pie, Kagi chartsTreemap charts, Stepped Area Charts, Table Charts / GridsVariety of non-standard visualizationsWind rose

Whether you are building an ERP application or a social media analytics tool, your end-users expect your product to process and convert data into easily identifiable trends and patterns. The right graphing software goes a long way in visualizing these trends and patterns effectively for your user. With the right JavaScript graphing library you not only provide your users with the right visualization but also build an immersive experience for them.