Non-conventional TEM methods to characterize small metallic particles are presented. The topographic information on the particle's shape can be combined with micro-diffraction (using STEM) data to obtain a full characterization of the particle. The case of gold particles evaporated on a NaCl substrate is used as example. The particle shapes observed are discussed. It is shown that many particles have a crystal structure which is different from the bulk (Fcc). The results are extended for the case of the Pt/Graphite supported catalysts. Finally, it is shown that, by using refraction topographic images, rough supports can also be studied. 17 refs.