Chart.js - How to highlight doughnut and pie selection on click

January 30, 2019

When building a dashboard using Chartjs. The requirement was to highlight a section of doughnut and pie chart on click. The charts were interactive, meaning when you click a portion of doughnut, another chart was getting updated. The highlight is a visual indication to know which portion was currently selected.

Check out the image below: the red section (Mango) is highlighted after click. Codepen example is attached below for your reference.


Chart.js expose an onClick function to all chart type. onClick pass the current event and an array of active elements.

  options: {
    //other chart options here
    onClick: (evt, item) => {
      //event code goes here

Using item, we can access the chart model, which is used by Chart.js internally. We can use this model and increase the outerRadius property to highlight the chart section. outerRadius only applies to doughnut and pie. For the bar chart, you can either change the backgroundColor or borderColor to highlight.

  onClick: (evt, item) => {
    item[0]._model.outerRadius += 10;

Now, the problem with this approach is, for every click, it will increment the outerRadius by 10. To rest, we can use the inbuilt method update(). In the example below, we use pieChart.update(); on every click to rest the chart to original state and apply an increment to outerRadius.

Full example

Link to Codepen

var fruitCanvas = document.getElementById("fruitChart");

var fruitData = {
    labels: [
    datasets: [
            data: [123, 75, 41, 61, 30],
            backgroundColor: [

var options = {
  title: {
    text: "Highlight a portion on click",
  onClick: (evt, item) => {
    item[0]._model.outerRadius += 10;

var pieChart = new Chart(fruitCanvas, {
  type: 'pie',
  data: fruitData,
  options: options
chartjs-pie chartjs-pie

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