A digital control has been developed for a galvanometer scanner used in a confocal scanning laser microscope. The galvanometer scanner utilizes a microprocessor-controlled scan control unit, able to produce repetitive analog waveforms and digital control signals, and to record analog and digital signals. The scan control unit outputs a sawtooth waveform to the galvanometer, records the position signal from the position sensor in the galvanometer, and uses this information to calculate the timing needed to trigger the reading of 1024 x 1024 equally spaced pixels in the specimen. The galvanometer may be statically positioned at an arbitrarily chosen pixel, thereby allowing recording of data from a point within the microscope specimen for an arbitrary length of time. This makes it possible to record spectral information or to measure fluorescent lifetimes at a single point.