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Flot Multi-series Bar Graph Support

by Andrew De Ponte (@cyphactor)

Hey boys and girls. I just got finished coding support for Multi-series bar graphs into Flot (a jQuery based JavaScript graphing library). Hence, I figured I would share not only the code but a little preview of it below. The code for it can be found at my GitHub account here. Please enjoy the little demo below.


Mouse hovers at (0, 0).

With the multi-series bar graph support, you can have Flot display the series side by side. This is useful when you are interested in visually comparing series and grouping segments you want to columns in series that you are specifically interested in comparing.

The above demo was produced by defining a few code snippets. The first snippet is a snippet of HTML that includes the customized Flot javascript source file. Note: The Flot javascript source file needs to come after the standard jQuery javascript source file. An example of this snippet is as follows:

<!--[if IE]><script language="javascript" type="text/javascript" src="../excanvas.min.js"></script><![endif]-->
<script language="javascript" type="text/javascript" src="../jquery.js"></script>
<script language="javascript" type="text/javascript" src="../jquery.flot.js"></script>

Note: In the above snippet the href values are likely to be different in your case. The second code snippet is simply a single line of HTML that is the div that is to be the Multi-series Bar Graph. It is key that this div has an id that is easily referenced and a set height and width. An example of this snippet is as follows:

<div id="placeholder" style="width: 375px; height: 200px;"></div>

The third code snippet needed is the javascript that defines the data, creates the Multi-series Bar Graph in the specified div, and handles the hover functionality. An example of this is seen below.

<script id="source">
$(function () {
  var ms_data = [{"label":"FOO","data":[[0,80],[1,70],[2,100],[3,60],[4,102]]},
  var ms_ticks = [[0,"1/28"],[1,"1/29"],[2,"1/30"],[3,"1/31"],[4,"1/32"]];

    function plotWithOptions() {
      $.plot($("#placeholder"), ms_data, {
        bars: { show: true, barWidth: 0.6, series_spread: true, align: "center" },
        xaxis: { ticks: ms_ticks, autoscaleMargin: .10 },
        grid: { hoverable: true, clickable: true }

    function showTooltip(x, y, contents) {
        $('').css( {
            position: 'absolute',
            display: 'none',
            top: y + 5,
            left: x + 5,
            border: '1px solid #fdd',
            padding: '2px',
            'background-color': '#fee',
            opacity: 0.80


    $("#placeholder").bind("plothover", function (event, pos, item) {
        if (item) {
            if (previousPoint != item.datapoint) {
                previousPoint = item.datapoint;

                var x = item.datapoint[0].toFixed(2),
                    y = item.datapoint[1].toFixed(2);

                showTooltip(item.pageX, item.pageY,
                            item.series.label + " Group id: " + Math.floor(x) + ", y = " + y + ", seriesIndex: " + item.seriesIndex);
        else {
            previousPoint = null;            

    $("#placeholder").bind("plotclick", function (event, pos, item) {
        if (item) {
            $("#clickdata").text("You clicked bar " + item.dataIndex + " in " + item.series.label + ".");

Hopefully, the demo and quick code example helps get you up and running.