flashChart tutorial and reference

FlashChart Version 1.2.2


This document describes the function and features of flashChart plugin for Joomla!. FlashChart has been developed to ease the inclusion of charts within your articles. It is based upon the API of "Open Flash Chart" . To get more information on Open Flash Chart visit http://teethgrinder.co.uk/open-flash-chart-2 .

You can use FlashChart to generate several types of chart, i.e. line, bar, and pie charts in 2D or 3D. For each image type you can specify attributes such as size, colors, and labels, and so on. You can feed the data for your chart via manual entry, from database, local file system or from remote (or local) webserver. With this plugin, you will be easily creating content article with dynamic charts defining by yourself. For complete set of chart types and data entry you can use, see sections below.

To include a chart created by FlashChart into your article you must include the plugin tag {flashchart} with parameters to describe the attributes of your chart and a chart-id of your chart. You denote the end of the plugin with the end-of-plugin tag {/flashchart}. The plugin tag has the format of

{flashchart parm1="value" parm2="value" } chartid {/flashchart} .

Parameter values have to be enclosed by double quotes ("value") and are valid only with lower case letters. The plugin has been setup already via its plugin parameters with lots of attributes for your charts (of course you can ovewrite those with your own setup or globally change them for your needs). To give you an idea how it works - you would request a chart via (settings below contain only mandatory parameters - all other attributes will be set by default plugin parameters):

"{flashchart data="50,60,70,80,90,60|109,120,100,130,140,100"} sample01{/flashchart}"

The "data"-tag describes your data for the chart. Each number will have to be separated by comma. If you have more than one datagroup you must seperate them by the or-sign "|" (the sample above has two datagroups). To see the chart setup with above settings just click here.

Plugin settings

FlashChart has already many chart attributes set, so that users have less typing effort and no need to remember all supported values of flashChart. All those defaults can (of course) individually be overwritten (see description below). To change the defaults go to "plugin manager" in your administrator backend and select "FlashChart content plugin".

Description of all FlashChart Parameters

Flashchart now with Version 1.2.1 supports 85(!) different configuration options. To put detailed descriptions of all parameters into one single webpage makes it a bit difficult to find a specific option. Therefore I've restructured this reference to selectively provide the information.
Please select from form below a parameter - it will be shown on selection.

Select Parameter:  

New in Release 1.2.2

Release 1.2.2 is mainly a "Security-Release" - e.g. in all php-scripts will be checked, wether the Joomla Framework is used. This means that every direct call outsite the framework will fail with an error.

With this release the interface to modal windows has been extended. With parameter "modal_chart", you may now request a chart to be created and displayed in a modal window. This function has been implemented with the bootstrap framework for modal windows.

The OFC Post/Get interface is no longer (for security reasons and limited functionality) supported. In addition exception-handling for database interfaces (MYSQL) has been recoded to support Joomla Version 3.x API.

New in Release 1.2.1

With this release you get a series of improvements and enhancements:
  • New chart types - scatter charts:
    • scatter_dot
    • scatter_star
    • scatter_box
    • scatter_hollow
  • Calculation and display of trend (trend line) for bar charts and line charts
  • Regression analysis for scatter charts:
    1. linear regression
    2. exponential regression (two types)
    3. use of own regression formulas
  • Creation of chart's data via math formula

New in Release 1.2.0

  • Flash-Object ("open-flash-chart.swf") has been reprogrammed and enhanced with new features
  • FlashChart supports actions on "mouse click events" (via mouse clicks on chart elements various actions can be invoked and executed).
  • Pie charts may now have legends
  • Radius of pie charts may be defined instead of using default of OFC
  • You may place legends on right side of chart (instead of top of chart)
  • You now may create and use chart menues
  • fixed problem with horizontal bar charts (type="bar_horizontal") if you have multiple data series
  • Data values may be displayed on bar and line charts.
  • Added javascripts and functionality to create javascripts to be used for click-events on chart elements or menues
  • You may create charts instead of background color now with a background image
  • Instead manually rearrange data for stacked bar charts, flashchart can do it for you on request
  • Support for "standalone" web applications
  • plus some code improvements


Parameter "c_color" changed to more meaningful name "chart_colors". To activate pls. go to "plugin manager" in your administrator backend and select "FlashChart content plugin", then click "save" to activate new setting.

Hints and tips

My Parameters seem to be O.K. but chart does not display or I see an error message
Some problems of this kind are caused by Joomla!'s WYSIWIG editors. I myself saw that some editors were too "smart correcting" my data entry. Blanks had been substituted by " " or tab-chars or special chars like "=" or "/" got replaced by a HTML-Coded character. To analyse these issues look at the html-source with your Editor and correct it if required.

Print Chart
Since build you may print your chart via context menu. Call menu by right clicking into the chart.

Print entire Page
FlashChart gives you the ability to save/convert your charts to images. This also solves the printing problem for browsers other than Microsoft's IE. You only need to convert your displayed charts into images (done with a click) and then printing works same as with IE. Or you can now use your charts as normal images (e.g. copy/paste) when they have been converted to image. Or you may use javascript "print_page" (available with this release).

Notes on the stacked bar charts:
If you are requesting a side by side bar chart every value within a datagroup will create one bar with same color. This behaviour is different with stacked bar charts . Here every value within a datagroup will create one stack with different colors on a single bar.
E.g. if you have data="Jan,Feb,Mar,Apr / 10,20,30,40 | 50,60,70,80" and request type="bar_cylinder" you will see four side by side bar pairs. If you then would request type="bar_stacked" with same data, you would see only two stacked bars resulting in wrong creation of your chart. To correct this you must rearrange the data portion to: data="Jan,Feb,Mar,Apr / 10,50 | 20,60 | 30,70 | 40,80" (if data is coming from database this rearrangment of data is done by flashchart).

With version 1.2.0 you may now rearrange your data via parameter rearrange_data="1" on request instead of doing it manually.

Notes on the mysql interface:
With this version of flashChart you can query data from tables within the Joomla! database or other mysql databases. The creation of your chart depends on data returned from database, and is therefore highly depedant on your entered SQL-statements. The result of your query will be handled by flashChart in a following way:

  1. If result contains only one data column from your query or you have set parameter "sql_labels" to "0" data goes directly to your chart
  2. If result contains two ore more data columns coming from your query and parameter "sql_labels" is set to "1" (this is the default) then:
    • first column will be used for x-axis labels
    • all other columns will be used for chart-data. Every single column will build a single datagroup (and will be used for creation of side by side bar-charts, stacked bar-charts or multi line-charts).


This is the 12th release of flashChart! Though I did quite a lot of testing there might still be some bugs in it. So take it easy! I'm willing to provide a correction ASAP if possible! Please attach your flashChart parms, which caused the problem. To contact me, please send email to describing your problem or bug.
If you have any problems or suggestions please feel free to send email to me or visit my forum If you like this plugin I would not be angry if you tell me and others.


Without the excellent work done by the developers of Open Flash Chart my development of this Joomla! plugin would not have been possible. Therefore many thanks to the Open Flash Chart development team! - they have produced an outstanding piece of work.



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