A software upgrade for the Mastersizer 3000 laser diffraction particle size analyzer from Malvern Instruments decreases the analytical workload associated with developing and validating particle sizing methods. New operational features, such as an Optical Property Optimizer (OPO ), simplify the process of method development. The new OPO tool enables the identification of appropriate refractive index and absorption values for the analysis of any given sample. It also allows analysts to research the impact of optical properties on reported particle size, in real time, using an intuitive point-and-click tool. According to the company, this helps exploration of the operating space in which robust measurements are assured, to define the method operable design region for a particle size analysis method.