The correct choice of charting library in a website or app can make the difference between a poor user experience and something that people will share and use over and over.
Here’s a list of 25 hand-picked libraries for graphs and charts that should hopefully serve as a useful reference guide.
Although limited to just 6 chart types, this HTML5-based library renders charts beautifully on screen and is very lightweight and simple to implement.
Another library that uses the HTML5 canvas element – CanvasJS works across all devices, includes interactivity and is easily themeable across 18 chart types.
A plugin that creates small inline charts (Sparklines) that are generated in the browser. A range of tiny charts can be customized with mouse-over interaction. This is a great tool for creating stock/fund prices inline with text, or as part of a mini dashboard.
A lightweight graphics library with an intuitive graphics API and an SVG renderer. The examples demonstrate not just charts, but simple games, animations and draggable shapes. Cool website too.
This is a comprehensive library that includes 90+ chart types. They offer not just charts but dashboard widgets, gauges, Gantt charts, heatmaps and a whole series of interactive maps. These are one of the big players in the charting world and claim to have 22,000 clients. Love their Charting Best Practices page.
Build interactive charts with options to render in HTML5, SVG, image or Flash. Some really modern and cleanly designed examples in the gallery – love the mini-dashboard option.
Plotly is all about importing data from a variety of sources (Excel, CSV, Access, GoogleDocs) and creating beautiful charts. You can export to PNG, SVG, PDF, or EPS and all charts are interactive.
Although not exclusively a chart library, this library does offer a range of chart types in its gallery, which includes a useful on-screen code editor. Free for non-commercial use.
ZoomCharts offer highly interactive HTML5 based charts with impressive results. The network chart is an awesome tool for the right type of data.
16. Google Charts
Google offers a good selection of cross-browser compatible charts, including older versions of IE by using VML. Free to use, the gallery demonstrates standard charts, gauges, maps, timelines, histograms, tables and more. This library is also used via an API for other chart engines and plugins such as WordPress Visualizer.
17. Dojo Charts
Dojo charting is a cross-browser 2D vector graphics API that renders charts using SVG. The Business Charts package also comes with a variety of interactive features including touch support for mobile. All of it is completely free and open-source.
18. Flotr 2
Flotr2 is a library for drawing HTML5 charts and graphs. It is a branch of flotr which removes the Prototype dependency and includes many improvements such as mobile support and custom chart types.
19. Zino UI Charts
21. Kendo UI Charts
22. Sencha Charts
The Sencha framework offers Rich, interactive charts built in HTML5 for touch devices. It includes support for native gestures on mobiles and tablets such as pinch-to-zoom and swipe-to-pan, which brings charts to life and massively improves UX.
To see how the top money managers use dynamic charts, see our post on the top 20 ranked fund websites. And feel free to drop us a comment to suggest any cool libraries for graphs and charts that we have missed in this list.