Accepted answer

The Cause

This is not a Highcharts issue, at least not by itself, the problem is caused by the fact that Bootstrap uses display: none to hide inactive tabs:

.tab-content > .tab-pane, .pill-content > .pill-pane {
    display: none;      /* this is the problem */

This causes Highcharts not able to get the expected width to initialize the chart, thus defaults to 600px. This would happen to other tools using the same approach to hide content.

A Pure CSS Solution

Instead of working around the issue with an extra redraw or delayed initialization, we can achieve the hidden effect using height: 0; overflow-y: hidden, this way the hidden tab panes are still in place and having valid width:

/* bootstrap hack: fix content width inside hidden tabs */
.tab-content > .tab-pane:not(.active),
.pill-content > .pill-pane:not(.active) {
    display: block;
    height: 0;
    overflow-y: hidden;
/* bootstrap hack end */

Update: We now target inactive tabs directly, via :not(.active), to avoid possible side effect if any.

This solution is seamless, so you no longer have to worry whether the chart is inside a tab-pane or not. And it's efficient as it fixes the width issue in the first place, thus there's no need to workaround the width issue afterward via resize/redraw/reflow using javascript.

Note about cascading order

This patch needs to be loaded after bootstrap css, because of CSS cascading order rules, in short, the latter rule wins.


Before vs After

Tip: switch to the Profile tab to see the difference.


The in-line style "width" is different for the charts. I'm not sure when and how are those calculated, but you can override those in css for example.


I found an easier solution in another post. Basically, the problem comes because Highcharts cannot render on a div with 'display: none' set. The solution is just write a fix in your CSS stylesheet.

.tab-content > .tab-pane,
.pill-content > .pill-pane {
    display: inline;
    visibility: hidden;
    position: absolute;
    width: 930px;

.tab-content > .active,
.pill-content > .active {
    display: inline;
    visibility: visible;
    position: absolute;
    width: 930px;

This is going to make the tabs to work with visibility attribute instead of display. Charts will render well.


Based on the Pawel's answer I render the chart at beginning and then resize the chart.

The code used (with bootstrap 3.0.3 and HighCharts 3.0.7)

$('a[data-toggle="tab"]').on('', function (e) {



Based on Paweł's answer I've made a working example:

Basically the .reflow() function is called on each chart when a tab is clicked. That way the chart gets redrawn based on the new dimensions which are applied to the container when it becomes visible.

This is the most important snippet of code:

// fix dimensions of chart that was in a hidden element
jQuery(document).on( '', 'a[data-toggle="tab"]', function (e) { // on tab selection event
    jQuery( ".contains-chart" ).each(function() { // target each element with the .contains-chart class
        var chart = jQuery(this).highcharts(); // target the chart itself
        chart.reflow() // reflow that chart


The problem is that Highcharts can not calculate width of the container which has CSS: display:none, so applied is default width (600px). In fact, browser is not able to calculate width for such elements.

For example when you will use separator to resize Result window, chart will resize and will work. So you have three options:

  • render chart after first click on that tab
  • render chart at the beginning, but after each click and window resize use chart.setSize(w,h) with new width and height
  • render chart at the beginning, but after tab click call chart.reflow()

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