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5 easy JavaScript libraries to help make your website shine

3 min read

It's sometimes easy to forget that the web is a rich platform that lets you add multimedia and manipulate its content to your heart's content - if you have the technical ability. We thought we would round up some of the easiest to use JavaScript libraries. While these do require pasting some HTML code, you don't have to do very much, and we think they're a great way to get started customizing your own website.

All of these libraries work with Known Pro, which allows you to add JavaScript to your Known site.


Many of us use emoji on our iPhones and Android devices, but they don’t always display as well on the web. Twitter had to solve this problem for their users, and collaborated with The Iconfactory on over 800 well-drawn emoji glyphs. They also made an easy-to-use JavaScript library that automatically handles emoji, so they always look great, no matter which device your readers use.


You’ve probably seen these on the web. A Northwestern University Knight Lab project, JuxtaposeJS lets you easily compare two images, side by side, with a slider between them.


The modern web supports multimedia in lots of different kinds of ways. With SoundCiteJS, you can take a snippet of MP3 or OGG audio - whether uploaded using Known’s audio plugin, using FTP to a third-party server, or on SoundCloud - and play it inline. Suddenly, you can make your text real with clickable environmental audio, quotes, music and more.

By the way: we could list all of the Knight Lab projects here, but we’ll stop with this one. Visit their website to see all the incredible things they do.


If you’re a developer, sharing source code is essential. Unfortunately, while your Integrated Development Environment highlights your code to make it easy to read, you immediately lose that formatting when you publish it to the web.

Highlight.js solves this problem by highlighting your code. It even automatically detects which language you’re using, so there’s no need to use any extra markup. Once you’ve installed the library, you can paste your source code inside the HTML tag anywhere on your page.

Bonus: there’s no need to add this code to Known - it’s built in!


If you’re sharing scientific or mathematical content, there’s every chance that you’ll want to include a formula or two. Unfortunately, on the web this is usually ugly, inaccessible to screenreaders, and incredibly hard to do. Furthermore, TeX, the formatting language most often used by scientists in academia, isn’t usually supported by web browsers.

MathJax changes that by allowing you to use TeX in your content as well as MathML and ASCIImath. The formatting is beautiful and it uses web fonts so it’s responsive and accessible. It even works on legacy web browsers like Internet Explorer 6.

These are just a handful of libraries to get started with. Are there any others that you would recommend for people who are just getting started adding dynamic content to their own websites? Let us know in the comments.