- Introduction
- Browser support
- An example
**An interactive example of the HTML5 canvas ellipse function**- How can I get ellipses now?

One of the new additions in the canvas v5 API is the ellipse() function. This is similar to the arc() function which can be used to draw arcs or circles. It takes more arguments than the arc() function - in order for you to give the vertical and horizontal radius and also the orientation of the ellipse - but other than that it will work in much the same way. In total it takes eight arguments which are listed below. As with the arc() function it's important to remember that the angles are measured in radians - not degrees. There's two functions shown below which you can use to convert to and from radians and degrees.

At the initial time of writing (23rd January 2013) there are were no browsers that implemented the ellipse function. See below however for up-to-date listings of browsers that do now support the ellipse function and a method of using the bezierCurveTo() function to achieve a "pseudo-ellipse".

Your browser:

Chrome:

Firefox:

Internet Explorer:

Safari:

Opera:

This is an example of how the .ellipse function will look. It's similar to the arc() method so if you're comfortable with that then you shouldn't have any problems. It takes extra arguments - namely two radius arguments and a rotation argument (ie so you can have the longer bit of the ellipse at any angle). The arguments are:

*x - The X coordinate**y - The Y coordinate**rx - The X radius of the ellipse**ry - The Y radius of the ellipse**rotation - How much the ellipse is rotated**start - The start angle***end - The end angle***anticlockwise - Whether the ellipse is drawn clockwise (false) or anti-clockwise (true)***

* Angles are measured in radians - 1 degree = (Pi / 180) - there's a few functions to convert degrees to radians and back below

** If you're drawing a full ellipse the direction is less important. But if you're only drawing part of the ellipse it is!

context.beginPath() ; var x = 150; // The X coordinate var y = 75; // The Y cooordinate var rx = 125; // The X radius var ry = 50; // The Y radius var rotation = 0; // The rotation of the ellipse (in radians) var start = 0; // The start angle (in radians) var end = 2 * Math.PI; // The end angle (in radians) var anticlockwise = false; // Whether the ellipse is drawn in a clockwise direction or anti-clockwise direction context.ellipse(x, y, rx, ry, rotation, start, end, anticlockwise); context.stroke() ;

This code creates the ellipse that is shown at the top of the page.

Here are the functions to convert degrees to radians and back again. They are added to the *Number* object so that you can
use them as the examples show.

<script> Number.prototype.toRadians = function () { return this * (Math.PI / 180); } Number.prototype.toDegrees = function () { return this * (180 / Math.PI); } num = 360; // 6.28 // radians alert(num.toRadians()); num = Math.PI / 2; // 90 degrees alert(num.toDegrees()); </script>

As of 2nd September 2013 the ellipse function has been added to the Chrome Canary version. So if you're
running this or a later browser that has support for the ellipse function you can have a play with
**this interactive ellipse example**.

If you're hankering after the ellipse function there is a limited way in which you can get ellipses right now by using the bezierCurveTo() function. It involves drawing two bezier curves - the top and the bottom of the ellipse. An example of this method is shown. This could be wrapped into a function that mimicks the native API function that's coming - or it could just be added to a regular function to make it easier to use repeatedly.

<script> context = document.getElementById("cvs").getContext('2d'); context.beginPath(); context.lineWidth = 1; context.strokeStyle = 'black'; context.fillStyle = 'red'; // The start point - the center/left of the ellipse context.moveTo(10,50); // Draw the top half - a bezier curve to the center right of the ellipse context.bezierCurveTo(10,10,240,10,240,50); // Draw the bottom half - a bezier curve back to the center left of the ellipse context.bezierCurveTo(240,90,10,90,10,50); context.stroke(); context.fill(); // This adds the text to the center of the ellipse context.fillStyle = 'black'; context.font = '20pt Arial'; context.textAlign = 'center'; context.textBaseline = 'middle'; context.fillText('An ellipse!',125,50); </script>

© Copyright 2014 Richard Heyes All rights reserved.