Introducing Charts v3

Formally developed by SeyDesign / Nimblehost, the Charts stack has received a major update this past weekend. To check if you are eligible for a free update, you can login to your Paddle account to see if Charts is listed there. For everybody else, the latest trial version and purchase links for Charts can be found on the product page. Charts is included in the Black Friday promo.

Charts is a handy little stack if you need to convert a CSV spreadsheet file into basic line charts, bar charts, pie charts, scatter plots, area charts, meter gauges or doughnut circles. These can be useful to visually display simple data on websites or webapps. A wide choice of style options within the Charts stack allow you to customise the generated charts and graphs to match your existing theme or corporate branding.

As before, the Charts stack works from a CSV file you supply. Most spreadsheet software can generate CSV files. This offers a quick method towards getting your axis labels and datasets loaded into Charts; with zero code required. Charts does all the hard work for you, to convert your CSV data into beautiful charts. You can either use CSV files added as resources in RapidWeaver or link to CSV files already stored on your web hosting account.

Changes in Charts v3 include:

  • Generated charts can now be previewed correctly within RapidWeaver.
  • Fixed a problem that resulted in bar and line point labels missing.
  • Greatly improved the handling of multiple Chart stacks, when they are configured differently to each other on the same webpage.
  • Fixed a problem, whereby graph axis labels would always get shown on the pie and doughnut chart types, where they were not needed.
  • New options to specify a maximum width or height, in your preferred units of measurement (e.g. %, px, rem, vw, vh).
  • All colour pickers now support RGBa colour opacity.
  • Fixed a bug that was causing a thick black line to be rendered under chart canvases in Foundation 6.
  • Requested by a user, the starting angle of doughnut and pie charts can now be customised in degrees.
  • Updated some stack setting labels and informational tooltips, to make setup quicker and easier.
  • Dropped support for Internet Explorer 8 and less. These web browsers have been officially obsolete for some years. Few people use these browsers anymore. This has the benefit of greatly reducing the amount of code everybody else has to load.
  • Fixed a bug that caused Meter Gauges to vanish if a chart further up the page had more than 8 data points and labels enabled (yeah - I had hours of fun trying to find and fix this one)!
  • New background colour and font size options for chart legends.
  • Reorganised and regrouped a few of the stack settings, to make things easier to find.
  • As requested by a user, it is now possible to rotate both x-axis and y-axis ticks, on bar and line charts.
  • Support has been added for Area Charts. These can be accomplished by using the existing Line Chart type, and selecting the Area Plot checkbox (in Line Chart Options).
  • New stack icons and a few other tidbits of information required by newer versions of Stacks and RapidWeaver. Rewrote the buggy ‘&&’ operator conditional statements.
  • Added the ability to toggle the chart box shadow effects on and off using a single checkbox option.
  • Cleaned up ‘edit mode’ to display less information about Charts. Important messages are still displayed if something is configured incorrectly.
  • New number box to change the sizing of point labels on bar charts.

Perhaps the biggest feature of all is that Charts is now fully responsive. This means that generated charts or graphs will scale-down to fit tablets and smartphones. Therefore removing the need to create multiple charts for different screen sizes. I know this has been a frequent user request for many years! Major technical hurdles had to be overcome, which meant rewriting a large portion of the underlying codebase and reconnecting all the settings. Charts will now redraw each time the screen is resized or changes orientation.

The product page for Charts has been updated with all new documentation. I have also put together a RapidWeaver 8 project file you can download. This contains several real working examples of Charts that you can experiment with. These tests work with the free trial version of Charts and the paid version.

Charts v3 will identify itself as a new stack and can be installed alongside older versions. Given the magnitude of changes, it will not attempt to convert or update older versions. This newest version of Charts has a bright orange and white icon.

Also of note, I have updated the LineGraph stack too. This one is a good option if you are only interested to making responsive line graphs (including area charts and scatter plots).

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