jqPlot – Clickable Bar Graphs

I’ve been creating several charts using jqPlot and several of them have been bar graphs. One issue I ran into early on was how to I determine which bar someone clicked on without actually clicking on the data point at the top of the bar.

Updated – Clicking on the image will take you a live example.

Bar Graph with One Series

My solution does not actually care if the user clicks within the bar.  For ease of use, I created my functions to determine which column of the x axis the user clicked in.

    line1 = [['Column 1', 99], ['Column 2', 43], ['Column 3', 38], ... ['Column 9', 699]];

    //  .... Create Bar Graph //

    function myClickHandler(ev, gridpos, datapos, neighbor, plot) {
        // The length of my array line1 will tell me how many columns I have on my chart.
        var column = getColumnLocation(plot,gridpos,line1.length);

    function getColumnLocation(plot,gridpos,length)
        // Get the width of the graph area minus the space taken up with axises.
        var insidewidth = plot.grid._width;
        var colwidth = insidewidth / length;
        var column = parseInt(gridpos.x / colwidth);

        return column;

For another chart, I had multiple bars per axis column and I wanted to know which bar in that column had been clicked on.

Updated – Clicking on the image will take you a live example.
Bar Graph with Two Series

        // For this chart I create an array and store each series in it.
	barlines[0] = [0, 4, 3, 1, ...];
	barlines[1] = [1, 2, 3, 0, ...];

	// I need to know the column the user clicked in.
	var column = getColumnLocation(plot,gridpos,barlines[0].length);
	var bar = getBarLocation(plot,gridpos,barLines.length,barlines[0].length,column);

	function getBarLocation(plot, gridpos, bars, length, column)
		var insidewidth = plot.grid._width;
		var colwidth = insidewidth / length;

		// I need to find the right and left sides of the column the user clicked on.
		var leftx = colwidth * column;
		var rightx = colwidth * (column+1);
		var left = 0;
		var right = 0;

		// I need to determine how wide each individual bar is.
		var barwidth = colwidth / bars;
		var bar = 0;

		var j = 0;
		for(i=leftx;i< gridpos.x && gridpos.x < i+barwidth ) {
				// if the X coordinate falls within the walls of the bar then that's the one I want
				bar = j;

		return bar;

So now when the user clicks on the orange bar, they will get the results tied to that bar. I hope this helps someone having the same issue.

5 thoughts on “jqPlot – Clickable Bar Graphs

  1. Pretty cool. Although I wonder why such basic functionality (drill down/clickable data points) is not being added to the library yet?

  2. Awesome. I am trying something similar but with pie charts. Can you give me the code of this application.

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