Highcharts - SPLessons

Chapter 1

Highcharts Tutorial

Highcharts Tutorial

This tutorial is outlined to help software professionals who are interested to learn Highcharts. In this lesson, the concepts of Highcharts, its features, and JavaScript framework are covered. This Highcharts Tutorial will help understand the concepts in a more detailed way and developers can gain knowledge on Highcharts.


Highcharts is a JavaScript library that provides beautiful, and high quality web-based charting with minimal coding. Professional and attractive charts can be made using Highcharts for a web application or web site.

The Highcharts product was developed by Highsoft Solutions AS, a Norwegian company in the year 2009. Torstein Honsi was the founder and creator of Highcharts.

Following figure briefly explains the time line of Highcharts history.

Highcharts are free for non-commercial use, so users do not require any permission to use for personal websites or nonprofit organizations. Currently, Highcharts support splines, area, line, areaspline, column, bar, pie, angular gauges, scatter, areaspline range, area range, column range, bubble, box plot, funnel, waterfall, error bars and polar chart types.

JavaScript framework and High charts

Highcharts are packed with a few adapters for making its interfaces work with different frameworks. Even though, the Highcharts was created with JavaScript framework, it does not depend on a particular framework.

So, Highcharts can be merged under the Prototype, jQuery JavaScript or MooTools. By default Highcharts uses the jQuery framework, so users only require jQuery library to create Highcharts.


Highcharts doesn’t require any client-side plugins like Java or Flash, because it is completely based on native browser technology and users need not install anything on the server further. The only thing that developers need to run Highcharts is highcharts.js core.

Any server that supports HTML can be used for running Highcharts. Users can even run locally from a file system using different browsers.

Browser support

Including Internet explorer v6 and mobile devices, Highcharts will work on all the browsers. Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) is used by the standard browsers to read graphics.

Following are the list of browsers which support Highcharts:

Browser version Performance Technology used
Internet Explorer 6 VML Slow
Internet Explorer 7 VML Slow
Internet Explorer 8 Ok VML
Interne Explorer 9 Excellent SVG
Chrome Excellent SVG
Firefox Excellent SVG
Opera Excellent SVG
Safari Excellent SVG
iOS Safari Ok SVG
Andriod 3+ Ok SVG
Android 2.x Slow Canvas

Highchart Features

Following are some of the features of Highcharts:

Features Description
Free to use Higcharts are free to use for non-commercial purpose and can be used for personal websites without any upfront charge.
Simple Configurations Various configurations of charts can be defined using json.
Compatibility Works on all major mobile platforms and browsers.
Multitouch Support Supports all the platforms like android, iOS and all other smart phones.
Lightweight Uses the light weight highcharts.js library whose size is around 35Kb.
Tooltips Configuration Tooltip can control programmatically by a call back or in-built formatter provided by Highcharts.
DateTime suport Date and time can be handled.
Multiple axes Multiple axes are supported on a chart.
Print Charts can be printed using web pages.
Export By using export, user can download the charts in PNG/JPG/SVG/PDF formats.
zooming Charts can be zoomed and viewed.
Rotating Text Text can be rotated in different directions
External Data By using a call back function, one can get control over the data.


  • Highcharts Tutorial – Different browsers use different technologies i.e., the older browsers use VML, whereas, the modern browsers use SVG technology for drawing the graphs.
  • Highcharts Tutorial – The Android 2.x browser has limited support and does not have a built in SVG support.
  • Highcharts Tutorial – Highcharts execute the output in a professional and attractive way.