The scanning probe microscope is an exciting new analytical instrument and a recent addition to the material scietntist's toolbox. SPM's record digital topographic data with horizontal and vertical resolutions from 0.1 angstrom to 12 micrometers , and 1 angstrom to 150 micrometers , respectively. These dimensions are ideal for thin film structure and defect analysis, as well as substrate characterization. The films we examine are vacuum deposited multiple layer assemblies of inorganic dielectric, metallic or organic materials, ranging in total film thickness from 10 nm to 100 micrometers . Understanding thin film and substrate microstructure is necessary for deposition process control, in research and manufacturing, as well as for characterizing the final thin film device properties. Additionally, the digital nature of the SPM image allows for detailed numerical analysis, which aids qualitative and quantitative data interpretation.