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Charts module provides a unified format to build any kind of chart with any
chart provider.

Each chart solution found on internet, like Google Charts and Highcharts,
have a specific data scheme. Its very hard and even impossible to build a unique
chart data that would be used in more that one chart provider. Or users get
binded to a solution forever or they have to rewrite all exported data again.

Thats why Charts is so great. It uses a standard data scheme do describe charts
data and thru filters, it converts automatically to each solution. You might
change to another solution at anytime.

The Chart schema is very similiar to Drupal's Form API schema.

Chart Providers

Out of the Box, you will be able to use 2 chart solutions. Which one of them
has particular advantages and disadvantages.

  • Google Charts: This library does not require any external downloads. It
    generates interactive charts using SVG and VML.

  • Highcharts: This library is one of the premier solutions for generating
    charts. Although it is very powerful and aesthetically pleasing with smooth
    animations, it requires a commercial license. It's free for non-commercial
    use. See

Installing Highcharts

If you decide to use the Highcharts library, you'll need to first install the
Libraries module for Drupal:

Then you'll need to download Highcharts and place it in sites/all/libraries
directory. The highcharts.js file should be located at:
sites/all/libraries/highcharts/js/highcharts.js. You will also need to remove a
directory called "exporting-server" within the Highcharts download. This
directory contains sample code for exporting charts that may compromise the
security of your site. The module will throw an error if this directory is left
in place.

Creating Charts in the UI

This module provides a configuration page at admin/config/content/charts. You
may set site-wide defaults on this page (for example set the default color

In order to actuall create a chart through the UI, you'll need to use Views

  • Create a new view:
    Visit admin/structure/views/add and select the display format of "Chart" for
    your new page or block.

  • Enable aggregation on the view:
    In order to display data, most of the time you'll need enable aggregation on
    the view. Under the right column of settings, there is a section for
    "Use aggregation". Enable this setting.

  • Add a label field:
    Under the "Fields" section, add a field you would like to be used as labels
    along one axis of the chart (or slices of the pie). In the "Aggregation type"
    setting, set it to "Group results together".

  • Add data fields:
    Now a second field which will be used to determine the data values. Usually
    this will be an ID field, such as NID or CID. The label you give this field
    will be used in the chart's legend to represent this series. After adding the
    field, set the "Aggregation type" for this field to "Count". Do this again for
    each different quantity you would like to chart. Note that some charts
    (e.g. Pie) only support a single data column.

  • Configure the chart display:
    Click on the "Settings" link in the Format section to configure the chart.
    Select your chart type. Some options may not be available to all chart types
    and will be adjusted based on the type selected. Because no live preview is
    available in Charts, you may need to open a saved version of the view in a
    different window to see the impact of your changes.

  • Save your view.

Tip: You may find it easier to start with a "Table" display and convert it to a
chart display after setting up the data. It can be easier to visualize what
the result of the chart will be if it's been laid out in a table first.

Creating Multiple Series and Combo Charts in the UI

When using Views to build your charts, you may find it difficult to retrieve
more than a single set of data generated by a COUNT() query. For example if you
wanted to retrieve the age of all your site users, but display "Male" and
"Female" values in a column chart at the same time, constructing the underlying
table of data is quite difficult.

To solve this problem, you can combine multiple charts on top of each other. The
"parent" chart provides the global information, such as the height, width,
title, and other properties. Charts that are "children" provide only data and
(optionally) a secondary axis. After you've assembled the first series of data
in your chart according to the instructions in the "Creating Charts in the UI"
section, add a new display to the same view of the type "Chart Add-on". The
"Chart Add-on" type is added the same way you would add a new Page or Block
display, from the "+ Add" menu at the top of the view configuration.

After this new display has been added, find the setting for "Combine with parent
chart" and change this value to point at the parent chart you have already
assembled. Then adjust the settings for the child chart to pull in different
data (often by overriding the filter settings). Now you can go back to your
parent display, and see that the results from the child chart have been
merged into the results from the parent chart. You can even use this approach
to combine different types of charts, such as a line chart over the top of
a column chart. Note that not all chart types can be combined together and
invalid combinations may cause your chart to throw errors.

Create Charts through the API

Charts module includes an extensive API for creating charts through code. See
the charts.api.php file included with this module for documentation.


For bug reports and feature requests please use the issue tracker:


This project is GPL v2 software. See the LICENSE.txt file in this
directory for complete text.


Port to Backdrop

  • Andy Shillingford (

Maintainers for Drupal:

  • andileco
  • Pierre.Vriens
  • quicksketch
  • brmassa