Canvas tutorial

<canvas> is an HTML element which can be used to draw graphics using scripting (usually JavaScript). It can, for instance, be used to draw graphs, make photo compositions or do simple (and not so simple) animations. The image on the right shows some examples of <canvas> implementations which we will see later in this tutorial.

<canvas> was first introduced by Apple for the Mac OS X Dashboard and later implemented in Safari and Google Chrome. Gecko 1.8-based browsers, such as Firefox 1.5, also support this element. The <canvas> element is part of the WhatWG Web applications 1.0 specification also known as HTML5.

This tutorial describes how to use the <canvas> element to draw 2D graphics, starting with the basics. The examples provided should give you some clear ideas what you can do with canvas and will provide code snippets that may get you started in building your own content.

Before you start

Using the <canvas> element isn't very difficult but you do need a basic understanding of HTML and JavaScript. The <canvas> element isn't supported in some older browsers, but is supported in recent versions of all major browsers.The default size of the canvas is 300px * 150px (width * height). But custom sizes can be defined using CSS height and width property. In order to draw graphics on the canvas we use a javascript context object, which creates graphics on the fly.

In this tutorial

See also

A note to contributors

Due to an unfortunate technical error that occurred the week of June 17, 2013, we lost the history of this tutorial, including attributions to all past contributors to its content. We apologize for this, and hope you'll forgive this unfortunate mishap.

Attachments

File Size Date Attached by
Canvas_tut_examples.jpg
17684 bytes 2005-09-05 19:14:04 KamielMartinet

Document Tags and Contributors

Contributors to this page: Sheppy, punter, kscarfone, Swapnil_raja, Jeremie, phil_nist
Last updated by: Jeremie,