Flourish module for making legend

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Flourish legend component


The legend component adds legends to a Flourish template. There are currently three types:
  • discrete (color) (displays as a series of swatches)
  • continuous (color) (displays as a color band)
  • continuous (size) (displays as a small and large circle)

Multiple instances of a legend may be added to a template.
The legends are added to a main legend container. The legend container controls generic styling such as font size, aligment and orientation.

Installation and initialization

Install using
npm install --save @flourish/legend

Then initialize the legends like this in the template (make sure this is executed before draw() is called):
import { createLegendContainer, createDiscreteColorLegend, createContinuousColorLegend, createContinuousSizeLegend } from "@flourish/legend";

const legend_container = createLegendContainer(state.legend_container);

const legend_categorical = createDiscreteColorLegend(state.legend_categorical);
const legend_continuous = createContinuousColorLegend(state.legend_continuous);
const legend_size = createContinuousSizeLegend(state.legend_size);


Then update the legends like this:

Add legend settings to template

In your template.yml, first add settings for the legend container:
- property: legend_container
  import: "@flourish/legend/container"

And add the legend container settings to the state:
state: {
  "legend_container": {}

Add settings for specific legends

Discrete color legend
- property: legend_categorical
  import: "@flourish/legend/discrete-color"

state: {
  "legend_categorical": {}

Continuous color legend
- property: legend_continuous
  import: "@flourish/legend/continuous-color"

state: {
  "legend_continuous": {}

Continuous size legend
- property: legend_size
  import: "@flourish/legend/continuous-size"

state: {
  "legend_size": {}

Legend container

Setting up the legend container

The legend container is used to set generic styles (including settings) that apply to all the legend instances inside the container, such as font size, alignment. The legend container has 3 methods:
  • .add([legend_instances]) - takes an (array of) legend instances that will be appended to the legend container
  • .appendTo(target_element) - takes a target node element and will append the container to target element
  • .update() - updates the legend container and all the containing legends

Using the legend without a legend container

The legend container is completely optional. So if you are working in a template and want to control the container and generic sizes in a different way, you can skip the legend container, and use the appendTo() and update() function of each individual legend instance.

Discrete / Categorical (color) legend

Add legend items to the legend and customise it

  .data(array, color_function(optional)) // See explanation below
  .filtered(["Brazil"]) // Array, items that should have low opacity
  .on("click", function(d) { // Add event listener to legend items (eg. "click", "mouseover", etc.)
    console.log(this, d, i); // (Legend item node element, {label: "Brazil", color: "#333333", index: "0"}, index)

Adding data to the legend

You need to pass the data method an array of strings as its first argument. This will be a list of all the labels for the legend items. The second argument is the color scale.
const getColor = initializeColors(state.color).getColor // Using Flourish custom colors module
// const getColor = function(label, i) { return color_list[label]; } // Or create your own function, referencing an object/array with colors

const legend_items = ["Brazil", "Argentina"]
legend_categorical.data(legend_items, getColor)

Alternative way of giving data to the categorical legend.

Alternatively you can do it in a more manual way where you create an array of objects that has a label and a color property. The label will be the label displayed for that legend item, and the color will be the color of the swatch.
const legend_items = [
    label: "Brazil",
    color: "#ff0000"
    label: "Argentina",
    color: "#000000"

Continuous (color) legend

  .data(domain, colorScale)

domain is a 2-element array (e.g. [0, 1000]) that specifies the values at the lower and upper end of the color scale. color_scale is a color scale function (e.g. from the colors component). The markerValue method adds a black and white marker centred on its argument's value. Pass in a value of null to remove.

Continuous (size) legend


size_scale is a scale function that maps the domain to a size. For example, if the legend is representing circle size, this would typically be a D3 scaleSqrt.
It's assumed that the domain and range minima (e.g. size_scale.domain()[0]) are zero to keep things simple and because this is good practice. (It's the equivalent of starting bar charts at zero.)
symbolType specifies the symbol type. Currently circles ("circle") and spikes ("spike") (used in Projection Map) are supported.
spikeWidth specifies the base width (px) of spikes (if selected).
If size_scale depends on the container size (which in turn depends on the size of the legend) then .update() will need to be called twice. The first call to set the height of the legend and the second call to update the legend content.
For example:

// Compute sizeScale (typically this will require calling chart-layout's update function)


Additional methods/options

Gets the legend node element
Sets the visibility of the legend.
Adds a formatter function to format the labels
Sets the automatic title for the legend. This could be a column name for example.

Multiple legend instances

A typical implementation of multiple legends might look something like:

  - Discrete color legend
  - property: legend_categorical
    import: "@flourish/legend/discrete-color"

  - Continuous color legend
  - property: legend_continuous
    import: "@flourish/legend/continuous-color"


// Settings overrides
legend_categorical: {
  title_mode: "custom"
legend_continuous: {
  title_mode: "custom"


const discrete_color_legend, continuous_color_legend;

function initLegends() {
  discrete_color_legend = createDiscreteColorLegend(state.legend_categorical);
  continuous_color_legend = createContinuousColorLegend(state.legend_continuous);

  const legend_container = layout.getSection("legend");

function updateLegends() {


If a legend needs to change type, add a legend for each type and use .visible() to hide/show such that one is showing at a time.