A cost effectiveness study on the feasibility of using computed radiography (CR) instead of screen-film methods for portable radiographs indicates that we could only justify CR if film were eliminated. Before purchasing CR equipment, we needed to evaluate the use of softcopy to replace film for routine clinical use. The evaluation had to cover image quality, human factors, and efficiency measures. Screen-film radiographs were digitized and used to simulate CR in two studies. The first study evaluated the quality of digitized images and the workstation user interface. Twenty-one radiographs were selected at random from scopes in the radiology department, were digitized, and transferred to a megascan workstation. Five radiologists were asked to assess the quality of the images and the ease of operation of the workstation while an observer recorded their comments and scores. The second study evaluated the feasibility of using the workstation in a clinical environment. Four radiologists read adult and pediatric portable images in film and softcopy format. Reports were evaluated for differences and timing statistics were kept. The results of the first study indicate that image quality may be acceptable for diagnostic purposes and suggests some changes in the user interface. Newborn infant images were the least acceptable in softcopy, largely due to magnification artifacts introduced when viewing very small images. The evaluation was based on a digitizer as a simulator for a CR unit and the digitizer did not exhibit the same resolution characteristics as CR. Films that were unacceptable from the digitizer are expected to be acceptable with CR. The results of the second study indicated that the high resolution diagnostic workstation could be used in a clinical setting, and that the diagnostic readings were not significantly different between film and softcopy displays. The results also indicated that, depending on the radiologist and the type of images, more time was required to read from the workstation and that the increased time was spent using window/level and magnification/roam functions. This preliminary study suggests that the high resolution workstation developed at the University of Florida has adequate quality and functionality to be used for diagnostic interpretation of portable radiographs if given high resolution images. However, further investigation is indicated before we eliminate film in a CR environment.