In this paper, we present a comprehensive overview of several advanced methods and software solutions that we have developed during the years in support of chip diagnostic and characterization in our lab. These techniques apply to the analytical tools in our lab, such as time-integrated and time-resolved emission microscopes, and are devised to help improve productivity and ease of use. In particular we discuss emission-based auto-focusing for detecting very faint signals, processing large sets of images for high-resolution mapping of very large fiend of views, careful registration of emission images to circuit layout shapes, and advanced processing of the data for extracting the valuable underlying information. In the past, these techniques have been extensively used in support of many diagnostic and characterization applications, and they have been effective enablers for the development of innovative methods and tools. Copyright © 2012 ASM International® All rights reserved.