Novel types of thin-film microoptical components have been found very advantageous for beam shaping of high-power and ultrashort-pulse lasers. Measuring techniques, nonlinear optics, materials processing, and further advanced photonic applications, will benefit from specific advantages. Compared to conventional microoptics, low dispersion and absorption as well as added degrees of freedom in structure and functionality are accessible. Single or multilayer designs, spherical and non-spherical profiles, extremely small angles, and flexible substrates enable key components for the tailoring of lasers in spatial, temporal, and spectral domain at extreme parameters. By vacuum deposition and selective etching transfer, a cost-effective fabrication of single or array-shaped refractive, reflective, or hybrid components is possible. During the last decade significant progress in this field could be achieved. Including very recent applications for spatio-temporal shaping and characterization of complex and non-stationary laser fields, the state of the art is presented here. Particular emphasis is put on the generation of localized few-cycle wavepackets from Ti:sapphire laser beams by the aid of broadband microaxicons. Special microoptics are capable of transforming vacuum ultraviolet radiation. Wavefronts of strongly divergent sources can be analyzed by advanced Shack-Hartmann sensors based on microaxicon-arrays. Single-maximum nondiffractive beams are generated by different approaches for self-apodizing systems. Prospects for future developments, like robust multichannel information processing with arrays of self-reconstructing X-pulses, are discussed.