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Virtual Microscope

This page is no longer maintained.  Check out our new NYU Virtual Microscope here.

Logging In:
Click the Login link in the upper right hand corner to log in using your NYULMC kerberos ID and password.  Once logged in, you can click your name in the upper-right to log out.

Viewing slides:

Finding Slides

Collections:  Slides are organized into ‘Collections’, groups of slides that have their own markers, details, and other information.  A VM slide can be in more than one collection.  To access a collection, just use the ‘Collections’ menu at the top.  
    Once you are within a collection, you can click the 'slide information' link on any of the slide thumbnails to see available details.  Clicking preview will open a lightbox view of that slide within the same page.  Clicking on a slide thumbnail image or name will open the viewer for that slide.

:   You can search all slides by name, by details (number, tissue, diagnosis, etc.).  Just use the search box at the top of every page.

Viewing a Slide:

The navigation tools of the NYUVM are the same as Google Maps.  Use the directional pad in the upper left to pan around;  you can also click and drag to pan the slide.  The slider (and mouse scroll wheel) let you zoom in and out.

Links on the Slide Viewer Bar

Prev/Next:  These buttons will navigate you to the previous/next slide in the collection, as ordered by the faculty.

Add a marker to the slide.  See the section below on Markers

Faculty:  Lists available Faculty-authored markers.  Selecting Hide Markers from this menu will hide all markers from the slide viewer.

Community:  Lists available Community and Student-authored markers.  Selecting Hide Markers from this menu will hide all markers from the slide viewer.

Info: Clicking the Info button will pop-up more info about the slide you are viewing, such as tissue type, stain, section, etc.  Click the button again to hide.


Link to current view:  This link allows you to share your current ‘view’ including where you are on the slide and how far you are zoomed in.  Clicking the ‘Email this link’ button will open your email client with a message including the link. 

Save View to Favorites:  Click this to save the current NYUVM view (where you are on the slide and the zoom level) to your favorites collection.  The center-most portion of the image as it is on the screen will also be saved as the favorite’s thumbnail.

Embed: Clicking this link will generate embed code that you can use for a lab manual or your own website.  This code is specific to the slide currently being viewed

Related:  Lists any other VM slides related to this one.  Faculty can manually link slides so that you can see other examples of the same tissue, disease process, etc.


Markers are pins on the map that point out features or pose a self-assessment question.  You must be logged in to view or add markers. 

Marker icons have different colors to show their type:

A faculty marker that is visible to all users of the VM

A community marker (e.g. created by a student) that is publicly shared by the author.  This marker is visible only to logged-in users.

A marker (either faculty or student created) that is marked as private.  This marker is only visible to the person who created it. (
See 'Change who can see your marker' below).  This icon will also be used for any marker that has an error, such as a missing title.  This is visible only to the person who created it until the issue is resolved.

Add a marker:
  • Navigate and zoom the slide until the feature of interest is close to the center of the viewer.
  • Click the ‘Add a Marker’ button.  This will add a pin to the center of the screen and open its ‘info window’.
  • You must add at least a title to the marker before its visible to other NYUVM users.

Edit a marker’s content:

  • Click the ‘Edit’ link to bring up the marker editor window.
  • Choose the marker type
  • Enter a title, or if applicable, a question.
  • Enter an optional description or answer feedback in the case of a self-assessment question.

Fine-tune the marker position:

  • Click and drag the marker to reposition it.

Change the zoom level of a marker:

  • Zoom to whatever level you want the marker to be at.
  • Reposition the marker by dragging it.  This will update its position and associated zoom.

Assessment Markers:

  • If you choose the "Assessment Marker" button a new line will appear at the bottom of the window called "Show/Hide Keysearch terms".  Click on this line to reveal a box into which you can add search terms.  
  • If the student uses any of these terms in his/her response those instances will be displayed bolded and in blue.  Search terms should be comma separated; terms that consist of multiple words should be separated by a space.  e.g. "trachea, thyroid, smooth muscle, cilia,
Change who can see your marker:
  • Note: student markers (under the 'community' category) are private by default and only visible to the student that created it. 
  • Click the Make it private / Make it public link in your marker’s info-window to change its visibility
  • Public: 
    • Faculty markers: anyone can see it.  
    • Community markers: any logged-in user can see it.
  • Private:  only you can see it.


Note: The Follow feature has been enhanced based on feedback and is available only to NYU students and faculty.  See this section for changes.

Follows are a new experimental feature of the NYUVM.   Follows let a teacher or student lead an NYUVM lab session - in person or anywhere in the world.  As the Follow leader navigates slides and adds markers, the followers can either 'follow along' and the same thing or they can periodically snap to the view of the Follow leader.  There is an optional persistent chat that is attached to the follow session, anyone following can reply.

Starting a follow:
  • After logging into the NYUVM, select the slide you want to start with and view it.
  • Click the Follow menu at the top of the screen, then click ‘Start a new follow’.
  • The popup dialog then looks like this:

  • You can enter a title for your follow (i.e. Lab Section 2) or leave it default to have it just be titled by your name.
  • The popup has options (which can also be edited later):
    • Show Slide Markers:  show (if checked) or hide (unchecked) all slide markers for both you as the leader and any users following you.
    • Overlay a pointer on the window:  show (if checked) or hide (unchecked) a pointer at the center point for both you as the leader and any users following you.  This will put the pointer on the same structure for all users, regardless of their screen size or proportions.  This is off by default.
  • Click Start Follow! and you will now be a Follow leader.

Running a Follow:

  • Once the follow is up and running you will see an indicator under all slide titles that looks like this:

  • The follow menu will also turn blue signalling to all logged-in VM users that a follow is available.
  • Navigate, zoom in/out, add markers, change slides all as you normally would.  Any users who are following you will see your actions in near-real-time.
  • To stop or edit a follow in progress, go to the Follows menu and select 'Edit This Follow:  (name of follow)'.  Changes you make to the options will be reflected on the screens of all followers.
Following a Follow: 

  • After logging into the NYUVM, select the Follows menu at the top.  Its blue if there are active follows.
  • Click the follow name you want, a sub-menu will appear similar to below.
  • Join this follow:  
    • By selecting this option, your screen will frequently sync up with the view of the follow leader, including opened markers.
    • You can chat using the pane on the right if the follow leader has turned on that feature
    • To exit the follow, click the ‘Leave follow’ link from the follow menu.
  • Snap to current view:
    • This will snap your screen to the view of the Follow leader, but you still regain free control and your browser will not sync-up again until you do another 'Snap to'.
    • When you choose this option you are doing a one-time sync-up withe the Follow leader's view, but you are not actually joining the follow.
    • Note that if you are already in a Follow, this menu item will not be available.

Reviewing a follow:

  • You can review the slides viewed from any follow you lead or joined. Just click the 'My Favorites' item in the Collections menu.
  • Scroll down to the Follows section or click the 'Your Follows' shortcut on the left.
  • Click on the follow name to go to the first slide that was viewed in the follow.
  • Click on the slide names in the right-hand panel to see other slides from the follow.


When you are logged in, your ‘My Favorites’ collection is the first item on your collection list.  You can add slides, markers, or specific views of slides to your favorites collection.
  • To add slides to your favorites, just click ‘Add to favorites’ when viewing the slide thumbnail details in a collection or from the 'Info' button when viewing a slide.
  • To add a maker, just click ‘Add to Favorites’ from the marker’s info-window
  • To add a specific view to your favorites (x,y and zoom) click the Share / Save button.  Then click the ‘Save View to Favorites’ link.
  • Any slides that you have added markers to will also be added to a section in your favorites.


  • Exams are available via the ‘Exam’ menu item at the top.  When an exam is opened by the Course Directors, you can attempt it by clicking the Start button next to its name.
  • Click on each question to enter your answer.  When you are done completely, click Finish and Submit. You can revisit/change each question as many times as you like prior to clicking Finish and Submit.