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Viewing Virtual Slides

Virtual Slide Viewing Software

Our custom built slide viewer is designed to be quick and intuitive to use. The viewer itself is designed specifically to work with both desktop and mobile devices. This guide shows you how to use our viewer and several others when navigating virtual slides.

Treanor, D. (2009) Virtual Slides: An Introduction. external site symbol Diagnostic Histopathology, 51:2 pp 99-103

Using the Website to View slides

Using our website’s built in viewer is the quickest way to see the slides, because it does not require opening the images in an external program.

Website Slide Viewer

The Leeds Virtual Pathology Website Slide Viewer

To navigate the virtual slides using the website viewer, simply click and drag your mouse pointer to pan, and use the scroll wheel to zoom. Alternatively, you can use the zoom button (which must be made visible by clicking the menu button), or double clicking on an area you wish to zoom in to.

The Viewer Menu

The viewer has some easy to use functions which can be accessed through the menu. The menu can be expanded by clicking on the three dots in the top left for the vieweing window.

Each menu item performs the following tasks:

* For mobile and touchscreen devices only
** For desktop browsers only

Note that for mobile and touchscreen devices, the rotate function behaves differently. When activated, the toggle rotate button allows you to use two fingers to rotate the view by any angle you wish, rather than 90 degree increments. Note that in order to resume normal navigation, you need to switch the rotation mode off to lock that orientation in place.

Pinch rotation in mobile and touchscreen devices

Pinch rotation in mobile and touchscreen devices

Thumbnail Navigation

You can use the thumbnail in the top right hand side to navigate the slides more quickly. The green rectangle over the image shows the current viewing window. By either clicking or tapping on an area in the thumbnail, the viewing window will automatically jump to that point. For even quicker navigation, you can also use the mouse scroll wheel to zoom in and out at the location the mouse is pointing to, without having to click and drag to that location beforehand.

Thumbanil navigator

The thumbnail navigator

Shortcut Keys

The viewer has been designed to work with shortcut keys so that you can perform tasks more quickly.

About Software: I
Move Up: W
Move Down: S
Move Left: A
Move Right: D
Toggle Menu: M
Home (Reset View): H
Toggle Thumbnail: T
Zoom In: Z
Zoom Out: X
Toggle Pinch Rotate: R
Rotate Left: Q
Rotate Right: E
Flip Horizontally: F
View Fullscreen: V
Screen Capture: C
Toggle Notes: N
Image Stats: Shift + S
Debug Info Shift + D

You can also view the list of shortcut keys in the viewer by clicking the viewer information button at the bottom of the menu.

Mobile and Touchscreen Devices

The viewer has been optimised for viewing on mobile devices, and as such can be navigated using touch screens. To zoom in and out, use two fingers to pinch the screen. To navigate, simply swipe around the screen to move the viewpoint.

Mobile Devices

The viewer can be used on both large screens and mobile devices


In order to ensure full compatibility across all devices and increase the responsiveness of the viewer, annotations are limited to viewing only. If you wish to make your own annotations, you will need to open the images with a desktop application such as ImageScope or QuPath.

Using Aperio ImageScope to View Slides

ImageScope is a Windows-only desktop application that allows you to view multiple digital slides, annotate them, and apply image processing algorithms to them.

ImageScope Slide Viewer

The Leica-Aperio ImageScope Slide Viewer

Navigating a digital slide using ImageScope is much the same as the website equivalent, with the additions of the Filmstrip bar on the right, which allows you to have multiple slides open at once, and the ability to take image Snaphots (screenshots saved as high resolution images). Also there are built in controls for colour management and image adjustment.

ImageScope Viewer Toolbar

The ImageScope Toolbar

To obtain your own free copy of the ImageScope software, check out our Downloads page.

Using the Leeds Virtual Microscope (LVM) software to View Slides

The Leeds Virtual Micoscope (LVM) Viewer

The Leeds Virtual Microscope (LVM) slide viewing software main screen

The Leeds Virtual Microscope (referred to on this website as LVM) is slide viewing software, developed by researchers at Leeds to quickly view multiple high resolution slides at once. This software needs to be installed on our computer, and requires a license.

The screen is divided into three main viewing areas: the slide thumbnail view (top right), the case view (bottom right) and the main viewing window (left). This allows rapid navigation through sets of slides, combined with the precision controls of a single slide viewer (note that the size of each viewing area can be set in the software).

You can learn more about the LVM project in our research section

For more information, please contact our LVM technical support.

Using Aperio WebScope to View Slides

Aperio WebScope is our legacy Website viewer and is not longer supported. It does not require opening the images in an external program, but the viewer itself is made using the Adobe Flash platform and so will not work on modern browsers and devices.

Website Slide Viewer

The Leeds Virtual Pathology Website Slide Viewer

To navigate the virtual slides using the WebScope viewer, simply click and drag your mouse pointer to pan, and use the scroll wheel to zoom. Alternatively, you can zoom using the magnification slider (which must be made visible by clicking the icon in the Toolbar), or double clicking on an area you wish to zoom in to.

Slide Web Viewer Toolbar

The Slide Viewer Toolbar

Icons from left to right: expand/hide toolbar; show slide thumbnail; show magnification slider; show annotations window; analyse image (disabled); save annotations (disabled); grab (pan) tool; freehand annotation; freehand inverse annotation; ruler; square annotation; circle annotation; arrow annotation; label.

Note that the annotation tools allow you to draw on the slide, but due to security issues, saving these annotations to the web server has been disabled. If you wish to use annotation features, you must use the ImageScope viewer.