Item chart

An item chart in Highcharts is a series type where the values are represented as individual dots or symbols, so that for example a quantity of ten is represented by ten dots. This is similar to a dot chart, except that in the dot chart, the items are rendered on X and Y axis, while in the item chart, they are laid out sequentially.

The item chart is used for infographics, typically for a low number of individual items within a low number of groups. The most common use case is a parliament, and other use cases may be the distribution of a feature within a group of persons, or percentages represented by a count rather than a scalar value.

Circular layout

Item charts can be laid out either as a rectangle or a circle. The circular layout is enabled by setting a startAngle and an endAngle. To achieve the typical parliament hemisphere, set the startAngle to -100 and the endAngle to 100. Then, as the default center is in the middle of the plot area and the default size is that the full circle will fill out the plot area, we can adjust the size and center. These options provide a reasonable fit for the parliament:

// Circular options
center: ['50%', '88%'],
size: '170%',
startAngle: -100,
endAngle: 100

Also part of the circular layout is the innerSize and rows settings. If the innerSize is 0, the circle will be filled with dots, while in the typical parliament view we would like the center of the semi-circle to be clear. So the default innerSize is 40%. In some cases we also want to set a fixed number of rows in order to reflect the real-world parliament. In this case we can set the rows option, which will take precedence over the innerSize.

Rectangular layout

When the angles are not given, the layout will be rectangular, and the layout option can be set either to horizontal or vertical.


When used as an infographic, we would typically use custom symbols to denote the type of data, for example a count of men vs women. This is done in the marker options. See the live demo at jsFiddle.

API options

For the full set of available options, see the API.