An on‐line television‐rate digital frame store device is utilized to provide color representations of a wide range of electron microscope images and image data. Various types of hardware devices in the frame store coupled with software manipulations via the host computer make rapid image acquisition, modification, measurement, and full‐color display possible in real time either from micrographs or directly from an electron microscope. Lookup tables used in conjunction with grey‐level image memories can be controlled from a menu display to provide a wide range of color‐coding schemes and sequencing. It is also possible to use color graphics overlays and alpha numeric displays along with full‐color image displays. This paper will describe many of the recent applications of color developed for electron microscopy studies of materials. Copyright © 1985 Wiley‐Liss, Inc.