Add Linear Scale/ Scale Bar Orientation

I recently started using Fiji - and adding scale bars is quite straight forward.
But now i want to add a bar/scale not from left to right but from bottom to top.
Is there a way to change the orientation?

What I want is as simple as: I have a picture with 10cm height and want to add a line/scale bar on the left side of the image showing the length in 1cm steps.

So far i seem not to have used the right search words.

Any help would be great!

you may draw the scale bar yourself, e.g. as an overlay.
There was a recent post about doing so on this forum.



You can apply a little trick.

Create the scale bar as an overlay (checkbox). Then add the overlay as an selection to the ROI Manager.

Image->Overlay->To ROI Manager

You will get two selections (the bar and the text)

Select the bar selection in the ROI Manager and then rotate the selection by 90°.


Add the rotated selection again to the ROI Manager (to store it temporarily).

Move the rotated selection (select it in the ROI Manager) to the destination and then fill it (press ‘f’).
Also the text ROI can be moved beside the bar (press ctrl+d to draw it permanently).

Finished example:


thanks - i just had to lookup what overlays and Roi manager is :wink: - nice - layers like in gimp.
The “solution” to rotate 90 degree, ad a scalebar + rotate back i already tried :wink:

One other thing about scale bars - i saw some with not only the entire length (like 74 pixels in your example) but also with parts - means a linear scale with 10 steps - like from 1 to 10 cm - like a normal ruler.
I could not find jet how to add an annotation like that to a bar.

Well you can draw your custom scale bar as an overlay and add custom “whiskers” to the default scale bar
with, e.g., an ImageJ macro or draw several scale bar selections on top of each other (black & white alternately - see macros below)

Here are some macro links I found for a start:

I have been trying for a while to draw or make a scale bar with whiskers, either as a selection overlay or as an roi - and neither seems to work just right. How do you add the custom “whiskers”?


I think the makeLine function in the macro language should be able to do that.

Looking at the examples @Bio7 posted, it seems that the scale bar itself is a filled rectangle (made in an overlay by makeRectangle followed by addSelection). The whiskers could be made by a similar process using makeLine instead.

If you can share code and/or screenshots of what you’ve tried so far, and the results, it will be easier to help figure out what the problem is.