[Histonet] Upside down labels (was Re:Gloves ... a question)

John Kiernan jkiernan <@t> uwo.ca
Thu Mar 24 12:21:46 CST 2005

"Marshall Terry Dr, Consultant Histopathologist" wrote:
> ... How do you cope with reading labels if your slides are 
> stored with upside down writing John? Or is upside-down 
> reading just another skill you have?
I keep stained slides horizontally - in slotted boxes
that hold 100, with lines for notes on the inside
of the lid. For long-term archiving I store slides
quite tightly packed, in the cardboard boxes that
new slides come in. Either way, it's necessary to 
take a slide out to read the label, so it doesn't
matter which way up it is. Slides that I'm working 
with are usually in flat trays, so again it's easy to
read the labels.

I was taught to use plain slides and label with a diamond 
pencil (very permanent) before staining, and did this for 
several years. It's hard work when doing a big batch, and 
technicians didn't like it. Occasionally bits of ground glass
would get on the sections. Pencil on a frosted end is
less effort, doesn't often dump graphite on the sections,
and resists anything but rubbing. A smear of diluted mounting 
medium makes the label permanent. I've never used paper labels. 
Can't see the point. Our slides for teaching histology and
neuroanatomy have paper labels; they get dirty and tatty
with the passage of years.

No, I don't do upside-down reading, but 10 years ago almost
to the day I wrote a little program called UPSI.EXE for 
inverting small ASCII files. It was useful when making diagrams 
etc with the line, box & block characters, but that's not a
thing people do any more. The program can also upsify (reverse 
the order of) the lines of a list. I don't know another way
to do that job, except by multiple cutting and pasting.

                           John Kiernan
                           London, Canada.

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