In contrast to electron microscopists who apply both diffraction and imaging modes to study materials during the same experiment, X-ray users tend to apply either diffraction or imaging techniques. This is in part because instruments tend to operate in one mode or the other. However instruments capable of both imaging and diffraction are beginning to emerge. This talk will explore how diffraction and imaging can provide complementary information about a region of interest. Diffraction can provide information on the key phases, grain orientations, phase transformations, elastic strains in the materials while imaging can provide information on phase morphologies, cracks, microvoids, delaminations, porosity etc. Furthermore this information can be tracked over time during material processing, in service or even during healing and regeneration. Much of the talk will be focused on the study of fracture mechanics in conventional engineering materials as well as hierarchical composites and natural materials. In addition results arising from emerging techniques such as diffraction contrast tomography which exploit imaging to visualise the structural elements and diffraction to image grain boundaries and grain orientations can do much to understand materials phenomena such as grain growth and recrystallization as well as intergranular stress corrosion. Finally further opportunities for connecting the diffraction and imaging modes of synchrotron X-ray microscopy to electron microscopy within a correlative tomography framework are also explored.