HTML Canvas Element: The Way of The Future

HTML Canvas Cheatsheet

At first glance, people might be confused about what HTML canvas actually is. Even some developers may not have heard of this relatively new platform in the web development world.

The canvas element, often referred to as HTML5, is only the vessel or container that a developer can draw on using other methods, such as JavaScript.

Developers are using this technology to push visual boundaries that have not been pushed before, especially in the gaming world. Designers can now create some amazing 2-D graphs using surprisingly little code.

The most significant feature to the canvas element is that its possibilities are endless, with the right coding the element is only limited to the developer’s imagination.

A good way to look at the canvas element is to compare it to a physical canvas, where the user can draw 2D elements onto it, such as lines and shapes. The only way to change what is on the canvas is to wipe it clean and start from scratch. Although this may seem strange to some people, it is a factor that developers will get used to quickly.

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Because of these factors, people may think of the canvas element as just a simple drawing tool, but the reality is it can do so much more than this. It can create stunning animations and dynamic graphics quickly and simply. All the developer needs is a little imagination and the canvas can become tool for creating some very interesting browser experiences.

The basic shapes you can draw with the canvas element includes arcs, curves, circles, rectangles and lines. The combination of these shapes can create almost every single shape imaginable as long as the developer has enough time and the skills to create them. The shapes can then be customised with some special effects such as making them transparent, different gradients, shades and fills. With all of this it is easy to create a webpage that is creative, unique and original.

Once you understand how to use the canvas element and how it is put together, it is simple. Overall the element comprises of two parts, the DOM element combined with the JavaScript API. The JavaScript part is the bit that developers need to know the most about as this is the bit that draws and manipulates images.

For those that have never used the element before, remembering all the different codes and commands is a daunting challenge. That is why those new to developing use a cheat sheet to help them out. A cheat sheet is a concise set of notes used for reference. They can be used for a huge range of tasks, one of these being building on a HTML canvas element. A fun fact, is that the origin of the name cheat sheet is derived from students trying to cheat on an exam. Students would write down basic notes to jog their memories about a certain topic. The same fundamentals apply here, the only difference being when you are using a cheat sheet to build a webpage, it isn’t exactly cheating!

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For many people they are a lifesaver, as not only do they provide a simple way to recall coding and instruction, but they also can help people learn new skills for free. Even if the developer feels like they know all they need to know, there is always something that might slip their mind, therefore this can be used very quickly for reference.

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The team at Skilled.co have created a HTML Canvas cheat sheet, that it perfect for beginners through to people with advanced knowledge of coding. It can help people start to learn coding as well as provide reference for different coding so that developers do not have to memorise every code.

HTML Canvas Cheatsheet
HTML Canvas Cheatsheet

HTML canvas is being used a lot more as developers are realising what it really has and the huge range of things that can be created when using it.


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