To Publications: Scale Bars Microscope Images

How to create and add scale bars in Photoshop for images from microscopes. A function in Photoshop does this for you (Image > Analysis > Set Measurement Scale > Custom and then Place Scale Marker). That is not covered in this video. Image J is easier to place scale bar, but the scale bar is permanently pinned to the image (which can be a good thing unless an advisor suggests you change the location…)

How to Add Scale Bar in GIMP

• Similar, except that Measure tool looks like a compass.
• Read out for pixels is at BOTTOM of image window!
• When drawing line in GIMP, use pencil tool
• Set width using Brush in Pencil submenu
• Drag down guideline for horizontal axis
• Click once at desired starting point (point will magnetize to guideline), THEN hold down shift
key and click 2nd point when pixel length is correct (shown at bottom of window).

How to Add Scale Bar in Image J

  1. Open image with microscope calibration.
  2. Draw line across known distance as in video above while holding down Shift key to keep line straight.
  3. Under Analyze > Set Scale.
    Distance of line is in top field. Set known distance and unit of measurement. If you click Global, scale will be applied to all open images.
  4. Write down values so you can use these later on.
  5. Open images to which you wish to add scale bar. Check Analyze > Set Scale to add scale bar values, if necessary.
  6. Under Analyze > Tools, choose Scale Bar.
    In Scale Bar box, type in desired settings.
    Scale bar is pinned to image (not on layers)

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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