Two new optical analysis methods in the field of nanotechnology are introduced. Both methods are based on optical microscopy coupled with a digital image analysis system. The first method can be used as a low cost quality control process for nanoimprint lithography. Here, fluorescence microscopy is used in combination with a standard printable polymer labeled with a fluorescent dye. The optical detection allows for the observation of imprinted structures down to 100 nm of lateral size. The second method uses either dark field or fluorescence microscopy for analysis of the particle size distribution of dispersed nanoparticles with diameters between 100 and 1000 nm. Both methods are characterized by a high reliability and reproducibility as well as user-friendliness and quickness.