This comprehensive reference work provides an overview of, and practical guide to, the various computer-aided microscopical techniques used in materials science today. After introducing the reader to the basic concepts of optics, the interactions between light and matter, and image processing, the book goes on to discuss in depth both 2D reflection microscopy and confocal laser scanning microscopy. The application of these techniques to the characterisation of materials is abundantly illustrated by hundreds of photographs and illustrations, and through specific case studies. There is also discussion of other modern optical imaging techniques and of non-optical ones such as x-ray micrography. This reference text is essential both for beginners looking for an introduction to the subject as well as advanced materials researchers in the fields where optical microscopy is used.