Printable materials


Most of these handouts are written by Doug Cromey with local users (SWEHSC, University of Arizona) in mind. Some of the material here will be useful to others from off-campus who may have similar equipment or interests. We cannot answer specific support questions from off-campus. Please be aware that your instrument may have slightly different software or hardware than ours and that the rules for what users are allowed to do on any specific piece of equipment vary widely.

Fair use

Individuals are welcome to print copies of these handouts for their personal use. Any other use of these materials (classroom materials, core facility distribution, etc) requires permission (contact information for Mr. Cromey). Most of these documents were supported by the NIEHS-funded SWEHSC and Mr. Cromey would like to demonstrate to the funding agency that the materials available here are of value to the greater scientific community. You are welcome to link to these materials from other sites on the WWW, however, we specifically request that you do not host these files on your own servers. We update these files periodically, so the most current version will only be available on this web server.


These handouts are all in the PDF format.


  • Basic Microscope Alignment
    An introduction to aligning a light microscope for Koeller illumination. (2 pages)
  • Light Microscopy Tips
    A collection of tips, including information about: Recommended coverslip thickness, Coverslip mounting media, Don’t mix immersion oils from different vendors, Mixing and matching microscope objectives, and Cleaning Microscope Objectives. (4 pages).
  • Formaldehyde Fixatives
    Background information on formaldehyde, optimal fixation suggestions and safety information. (3 pages)
  • Light Microscope Vendors for Southern Arizona (updated August 2022)
    Names and contact information for the local service and sales representatives for Leica, Nikon, Evident/Olympus, and Zeiss. In addition, local firms for microscope service and repair are featured.
  • #1.5 Coverslips for Microscopy
    The importance of this thin sliver of glass and sources for the new #1.5H high performance coverslips required for superresolution and better performance on high-end light microscopes. (updated August 2020)

Digital Imaging

Instrument or Software specific handouts


Reviewed & updated 03/18/2019. Creation of this web page was originally supported as part of the Southwest Environmental Health Sciences Center at the University of Arizona, NIEHS P30 ES006694.