Philip Hendry's Blog

Creating a HighCharts Component in Aurelia

Sep 15, 2015 • Aurelia • 4 min read

This article shows how I've integrated HighCharts with an Aurelia application I've be writing. The source code is available on github.


The setup for this test project I've written to host the chart component is fairly basic and most of the salient points are covered in my other post where I created a carousel component.

The one obvious difference is pulling HighCharts into the project. Given that HighCharts has a github repository I can use jspm to pull that repository down and assign it to a shortname:

.\node_modules\.bin\jspm install highcharts=github:highslide-software/

I believe there's a way to create an entry in the config.js for jspm that defines exactly what is required from the repository rather pulling all of it down (that's what the jspm registry does) but I've not covered that here.

Don't forget, if you're going to use HighCharts for commercial purposes then go and get a license.

Update 29/10/2015

There's a better way to install Highcharts without using the github repository which adds extra bloat (and causes folder depth problems on Windows.) Try running the following instead of the above:

jspm install highcharts=npm:highcharts-release -o "{ main: 'highcharts' }"

Component API

The first thing to ponder is the API that the host view will use to declare the chart component. This is a fairly simple decision since Custom Elements are the de-facto standard. So this is what my page view will declare:

<require from="./chart"></require>
<chart chart-options.bind="chartOptions"></chart>

I could make this interface much more elaborate and have attributes for the title of the graph, the axis labels and so forth. If I were trying to wrap the HighCharts API behind the component then that would be a good idea but in my instance I'm not especially given I don't have many instances of HighCharts at the moment. Therefore I'm keeping it simple and passing the HighCharts object directly to the component.

Chart Component

The basic structure of this component is fairly normal:

import {bindable, inject} from "aurelia-framework";
import {TaskQueue} from "aurelia-task-queue";
import $ from "jquery";
import Hightcharts from "highcharts";
import "./chart.css!";

@inject(Element, TaskQueue)
export class ChartCustomElement {        
    @bindable chartOptions;

The constructor is injected with the DOM element representing the <chart> and the Aurelia TaskQueue which I'll use and explain next. It's also configures global HighCharts options:

constructor(element, taskQueue) {
        global: {
            useUTC: false
    this.element = element;     
    this.taskQueue = taskQueue;

Given the chartOptions is defined as @bindable I can employ the convention of declaring a chartOptionsChanged method which will be called whenever the property changes:

chartOptionsChanged(value) {
    let newSettings = {};
    $.extend(true, newSettings, this.chartDefaults, value);
    this.taskQueue.queueMicroTask(() => 

There are a couple of points to note:

I did have a problem at one point where I ended wrapping the $(this.element).highcharts(newSettings) in a call to setTimeout which definitely seems unnecessary but I can't get a handle on why this seemed required at the time!

For completeness here are the chart defaults I'm using:

chartDefaults = {
    exporting: {
        buttons: {
            contextButton: {
                menuItems: [
                        textKey: 'printChart', 
                        onclick: function() { this.print(); } 
                    { separator: true }, 
                        textKey: 'downloadPNG', 
                        onclick: function() { this.exportChart(); } 
                        textKey: 'downloadJPEG',
                        onclick: function() { 
                            this.exportChart({ type: 'image/jpeg' }); 
                        textKey: 'downloadSVG', 
                        onclick: function() { 
                            this.exportChart({ type: 'image/svg+xml' }); 

The final piece to the puzzle is chart.css which ensures the <chart> is rendered as a block element and therefore expands to fill it's container:

chart {
    display: block;


There's still a lot I could add to this component and I'm sure I'll be dipping back into the repository to improve it in the future. Please feel free to comment below or fork the repository :)

Post by: Philip Hendry