Posts tagged ‘canvas’

January 31, 2012

Creating a simple pie chart with HTML5 Canvas Part 3

Over the last two weeks, we have created a simple pie chart and then added some functionality. This week we will focus on some design aspects to improve the presentation of the chart.

While contrasting colors for each slice of the pie can be used for a clear distinction between slices, using a border for each one generally looks nicer. This is easily accomplished using the .stroke method.


ctx.lineWidth = 1;

ctx.strokeStyle = “#fff”;



Another simple way to improve the appearance of the chart is to add some color gradient for each slice. Using color gradients will give the chart a more modern look and are extremely simple to add. The first step is to define the gradient as follows.


var gradient = ctx.createLinearGradient( 0, 0, canvas.width, canvas.height );

gradient.addColorStop( 0, “#ddd” );

gradient.addColorStop( 1, colors[i] );


Once the gradient is defined, we can set it as the fillStyle for the context and call the fill method.


ctx.fillStyle = gradient;



Last week we added rendering of the pie slice values at the bottom of the screen. While that does the job of giving the user information about the slice, it forces them to look away from the chart. To improve on that, we will have the value of the slice be rendered at the position of the mouse. The effect will be that the value follows the user as they hover over the slices.


ctx.fillStyle = ‘#fff’;

ctx.font = ‘bold 10px verdana’;

ctx.fillText(pieData[slice][‘value’], x, y, 20);


While adding these improvements may seem trivial, they are worth mentioning due to the fact that they transform what was a simple and dull chart into one that is more functional, intuitive, and professional.

For the full source and a working demo, please follow the link below.

January 24, 2012

Creating a simple pie chart with HTML5 Canvas Part 2

Last week we created a pie chart using HTML5’s Canvas element. This week we will utilize jQuery to add some simple functionality.  For this exercise, we want to be able to visualize the exact values of each slice of the pie when the user positions the mouse over them. To do this, we will use the .mousemove event from jQuery to update text on the page.

The first step is to include jQuery.


<script src=””></script&gt;


Next, we will need to refactor the script from last week a bit in order to reference it from the mousemove event. To do this, we will create an array to store the data for each slice.


var pieData = [];

for(var i in data) {

                pieData[i] = [];

                pieData[i][‘value’] = data[i];

                pieData[i][‘startAngle’] = 2 * Math.PI * lastPosition;

                pieData[i][‘endAngle’] = 2 * Math.PI * (lastPosition + (data[i]/total));

                lastPosition += data[i]/total;



Now that the data is stored a bit differently than last week, we will need to update the script that renders the pie chart. Specifically, we will change the ctx.arc call to reference the data we just stored in the pieData array.


for(var i = 0; i < data.length; i++)







                ctx.fillStyle = colors[i];




Next we will add some text to the page that will be used to display the value of the pie chart that the user is currently hovering over with the mouse.



        Hover over a slice



Now that we have a placeholder for the text, we can add the mousemove event that will first evaluate whether the user is within the radius of the chart and then do a bit of math to determine which slice the mouse is over.


$(“#canvas”).mousemove(function(e) {

                var x = Math.floor((e.pageX-$(“#canvas”).offset().left));

                var y = Math.floor((e.pageY-$(“#canvas”).offset().top));

                var fromCenterX = x – center[0];

                var fromCenterY = y – center[1];

                var fromCenter = Math.sqrt(Math.pow(Math.abs(fromCenterX), 2) + Math.pow(Math.abs(fromCenterY), 2 ));


                if (fromCenter <= radius) {

                                var angle = Math.atan2(fromCenterY, fromCenterX);

                                if (angle < 0) angle = 2 * Math.PI + angle; // normalize


                                for (var slice in pieData) {

                                                if (angle >= pieData[slice][‘startAngle’] && angle <= pieData[slice][‘endAngle’]) {

                                                                $(“div.sliceValue”).text(“The value for the slice is ” + pieData[slice][‘value’]);







If all went well, you should now have a working demo. If not, you can view the source of the working demo linked below.

January 17, 2012

Creating a simple pie chart with HTML5 Canvas

This week we take a look at how to use the HTML5 canvas element to create a simple pie chart. To begin, we need to define the element using the canvas tag. Please note the id, height, and width are required.

<canvas id=”canvas” width=”400″ height=”300″></canvas>

In order to interact with this canvas through Java script, we will need to first get the element by Id and then create a context.

<script type="text/javascript">

var canvas = document.getElementById(‘canvas’);

var ctx = canvas.getContext(“2d”);


These two steps are essentially all that is required to start drawing to the canvas. For this example, we will be drawing a simple pie chart, so let’s add some data. We’ll use some hard coded values for data in the interest of simplicity.


var data = [75,68,32,95,20,51];

var colors = [“#7E3817”, “#C35817”, “#EE9A4D”, “#A0C544”, “#348017”, “#307D7E”];

var center = [canvas.width / 2, canvas.height / 2];

var radius = Math.min(canvas.width, canvas.height) / 2;

var lastPosition = 0, total = 0;


Next we will need to get the total value of all the data being represented in the pie chart. This is required in order to scale the size of each slice correctly. To do this, we simply need to loop through the data array and add each value into the ‘total’ variable defined above.


for(var i in data) { total += data[i]; }


And finally, we are ready start using canvas to draw each slice of the pie. To do this, we will loop through the data array again and call the canvas methods to create and fill the shapes.


for (var i = 0; i < data.length; i++) {

ctx.fillStyle = colors[i];






lastPosition += Math.PI*2*(data[i]/total);



Loading the page in an HTML5 enabled browser should result in our chart being rendered as follows.




Next week we will take a look at adding labels to the chart as well as adding some user interaction with animation.