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An chart library specialized for large-scale time-series data, built on WebGL.

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Time Chart

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An chart library specialized for large-scale time-series data, built on WebGL.

Flexable. Realtime monitor. High performance interaction.

Live Demo


Taking advantage of the newest WebGL technology, we can directly talk to GPU, pushing the limit of the performance of rendering chart in browser. This library can display almost unlimited data points, and handle user interactions (pan / zoom) at 60 fps.

We compare the performance of this library and some other popular libraries. See Performance



  • Use npm
  npm install timechart
  • Use HTML script tag

This library depends on D3 to draw axes and something else. It needs to be included seperatedly.



Display a basic line chart with axes.

const el = document.getElementById('chart');
const data = [];
for (let x = 0; x < 100; x++) {
    data.push({x, y: Math.random()});
const chart = new TimeChart(el, {
    series: [{ data }],


Assemble Your Own Chart

New in v1.

TimeChart comes with a modular design. Almost all functions are implemented as plugins. You can pick the plugins you need, so that you don't pay for functions you don't use.

Offical plugins: * lineChart: draw the line chart with WebGL, the biggest selling point of this library. * d3Axis: intergret with d3-axis to draw the axes. * legend: show a legend at top-right. * crosshair: show crosshair under the mouse. * nearestPoint: highlight the data points in each series that is nearest to the mouse. * chartZoom: respond to mouse, keyboard, touch event to zoom/pan the chart. See also the interaction method

As an example, to assemble your own chart with all offical plugins added: ```JavaScript import TimeChart from 'timechart/core'; import { lineChart } from 'timechart/plugins/lineChart'; import { d3Axis } from 'timechart/plugins/d3Axis'; import { legend } from 'timechart/plugins/legend'; import { crosshair } from 'timechart/plugins/crosshair'; import { nearestPoint } from 'timechart/plugins/nearestPoint'; import { TimeChartZoomPlugin } from 'timechart/plugins/chartZoom';

const el = document.getElementById('chart'); const chart = new TimeChart(el, { data: {...}, plugins: { lineChart, d3Axis, legend, crosshair, nearestPoint, zoom: new TimeChartZoomPlugin({...}), } }); ```

This is almost equivalent to just

import TimeChart from 'timechart';
, except: * The zoom options are now passed directly to
. * To change the zoom options dynamically, use
instead of original

You can also write your own plugins. Read the guide.

For users who use HTML script tag to import TimeChart, use this instead:



To add data dynamically, just push new data points to the data array, then call


Some restrictions to the provided data: * You can only add new data. Once you call

, you can not edit or delete existing data. * The x value of each data point must be monotonically increasing. * Due to the limitation of single-precision floating-point numbers, if the absolute value of x is large (e.g.
), you may need to use
option (see below) to make the chart render properly. ```JavaScript let startTime =; // Set the start time e.g. 1626186924936

let bar = []; // holds the series data

// build the chart const chart = new TimeChart(el, { series: [{ name: 'foo', data: bar }], baseTime: startTime, });

// update data bar.push({x: 1, y: 10}); // 1ms after start time bar.push({x: 43, y: 6.04}); // 43ms after start time bar.push({x: 89, y: 3.95}); // 89ms after start time

// update chart chart.update(); ```

Global Options

Specify these options in top level option object. e.g. to specify

const chart = new TimeChart(el, {
    series: [{ data }],
    lineWidth: 10,
  • lineWidth (number): default line width for every data series.

default: 1

  • backgroundColor (CSS color specifier or d3-color instance)

default: 'transparent'

  • paddingTop / paddingRight / paddingLeft / paddingBottom (number): Padding to add to chart area in CSS pixel. Also reverse space for axes.

default: 10 / 10 / 45 / 20

  • xRange / yRange ({min: number, max: number} or 'auto'): The range of x / y axes. Also use this to control pan / zoom programmatically. Specify
    to calculate these range from data automatically. Data points outside these range will be drawn in padding area, to display as much data as possible to user.

default: 'auto'

  • realTime (boolean): If true, move xRange to newest data point at every frame.

default: false

  • baseTime (number): Milliseconds since
    new Date(0)
    . Every x in data are relative to this. Set this option and keep the absolute value of x small for higher floating point precision.

default: 0

  • xScaleType (() => Scale): A factory method that returns an object conforming d3-scale interface. Can be used to customize the appearance of x-axis.
    from d3-scale are known to work.

default: d3.scaleTime

  • debugWebGL (boolean): If true, detect any error in WebGL calls. Most WebGL calls are asynchronized, and detecting error will force synchronization, which may slows down the program. Mainly used in development of this library.

default: false

  • legend (boolean): If true, show the legend.

default: true

Series Options

Specify these options in series option object. e.g. to specify

const chart = new TimeChart(el, {
    series: [{
        lineWidth: 10,
  • data ({x: number, y: number}[]): Array of data points to be drawn.

    is the time elapsed in millisecond since
  • lineWidth (number or undefined): If undefined, use global option.

default: undefined

  • name (string): The name of the series. Will be shown in legend and tooltips.

default: ''

  • color (CSS color specifier or d3-color instance): line color


CSS property value at initialization.
  • visible (boolean): Whether this series is visible

default: true

Zoom Options

These options enable the builtin touch / mouse / trackpad interaction support. The x, y axis can be enabled separately.

Specify these options in zoom option object. e.g. to specify

const chart = new TimeChart(el, {
    series: [{ data }],
    zoom: {
        x: {
            autoRange: true,
        y: {
            autoRange: true,

New in v1. If you are using the plugins, pass these options to the

import TimeChart from 'timechart/core';
import { TimeChartZoomPlugin } from 'timechart/plugins/chartZoom';
const chart = new TimeChart(el, {
    series: [{ data }],
    plugins: {
        zoom: new TimeChartZoomPlugin({x: {autoRange: true}})
  • autoRange (boolean): Determine maxDomain, minDomain automatically.

default: false

  • maxDomain / minDomain (number): The limit of xRange / yRange

default: Infinity / -Infinity

  • maxDomainExtent / minDomainExtent (number): The limit of
    max - min
    in xRange / yRange

default: Infinity / 0


  • chart.update()
    : Request update after some options have been changed. You can call this as many times as needed. The actual update will only happen once per frame.
  • chart.dispose()
    : Dispose all the resources used by this chart instance. Note: We use shadow root to protect the chart from unintended style conflict. However, there is no easy way to remove the shadow root after dispose. But you can reuse the same HTML element to create another TimeChart. Example
  • chart.onResize()
    : Calculate size after layout changes. This method is automatically called when window size changed. However, if there are some layout changes that TimeChart is unaware of, you need to call this method manually.


With touch screen: * 1 finger to pan * 2 or more finger to pan and zoom

With mouse: * Left button drag to pan * wheel scroll translate X axis * Alt + wheel scroll to translate Y axis * Ctrl + wheel scroll to zoom X axis * Ctrl + Alt + wheel scroll to zoom Y axis * Hold Shift key to speed up translate or zoom 5 times

With trackpad: * Pan X or Y direction to translate X axis * Alt + Pan X/Y direction to translate X/Y axis * Pinch to zoom X axis * Alt + pinch to zoom Y axis * Hold Shift key to speed up translate or zoom 5 times


The chart is in a shadow root so that most CSS in the main document can not affect it. But we do provide some styling interface.

For example, we can support dark theme easily:

.dark-theme {
    color: white;
    background: black;
    --background-overlay: black;



CSS property is used in some non-transparent element on top on the chart.

The background of the chart is transparent by default. So it's easy to change the background by setting the background of parent element.

All foreground elements will change color to match the

CSS property. However, chart is drawn in canvas and cannot respond to CSS property changes. You need to change the color manually if you want to change the
after initialiation.


  • run
    npm install
    to install dependencies
  • run
    npm start
    to automatically build changes
  • run
    npm run demo
    then open to test changes
  • run
    npm test
    to run automatic tests

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