Color to Grayscale Fluorescence Microscope Images

How to convert images in which fluorescent dyes were used from color to grayscale or monochrome. This is useful when publishing in grayscale.

How to Convert Color to Grayscale for Fluorescence in GIMP

  1. Under Colors > Components, choose Channel Mixer: adjust as in video.
  2. Save channel adjustments by clicking Save button.

How to Convert from Color to Grayscale for Fluorescence in Image J:

  1. Choose Image > Type to check color.
    If image is 8- or 16-bit:
    Under Image > Lookup Tables, select Gray.
    If image is RGB Color or 8-bit color:
    Under Image > Color, select Split Channels, and the 2 undesired images can be closed.
  2. Under Edit > Options > Appearance choose appropriate bit depth from drop down (find bit depth under Image > Show Info).

Most confocal/fluorescent images are natively grayscale and Image J colorizes the image with Look Up Tables (LUTs). Note that ALL images should be changed to grayscale to better evaluate any tonal adjustments because red- and blue-colorized images are difficult to evaluate perceptually.

See ImageJ video for typical fluorescent image steps.

See the Instruction Page for an index of all instructional videos and documents
See Image Ethics for image integrity information on how to avoid scientific misconduct

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