© 2017 IOP Publishing Ltd. Properties, behavior, and functionalities of magnetic materials are largely determined by microscopic spin textures, particularly their formation into domains, their coupling mechanisms and their dynamic behavior. Advanced characterization tools are prerequisite to fundamentally understand magnetic materials and control spins for novel magnetic applications. Magnetic microscopies allow us to image directly the static and dynamic features of the relevant microscopic magnetization structures in advanced magnetic materials and thus provide detailed and direct insight into underlying physical phenomena. A large variety of magnetic imaging techniques has become available with particular strengths but also certain limitations. Essential features of magnetic microscopies are a high spatial resolution down into the nanometer regime, as this is the fundamental length scale of magnetic exchange interaction and the ultimate length scale in advanced magnetic technologies; magnetic and elemental sensitivity with quantitative capabilities, as the properties of advanced magnetic materials can be tailored by combining various magnetic elements and their magnetic moments; high temporal resolution from the ns to the fs regime to understand the associated spin dynamic processes and the functionality in magnetic devices; tomographic capabilities with nm resolution as new directions in nanoscience and technologies are moving into 3 dim arrangements of spin structures; and interfacial sensitivity as novel ways to control spins harness either the coupling across interfaces in multilayered structures or utilize non-collinear spin arrangements, which often occur from symmetry breaking at surfaces and interfaces. The unique properties of polarized soft x-rays, their abundancy and specific interaction with magnetic materials in form of dichroism effects have triggered the development of various magnetic x-ray imaging techniques. This review will provide an overview of the current state-of-the-art in magnetic imaging with polarized soft x-rays. It describes the various approaches using x-ray optics, electron optics and diffraction based techniques and it will highlight the capabilities of each technique by selected examples from current research.