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The purpose of this study was to evaluate the nature of film formation on tablets with different compositions, using confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM), and to measure film adhesion via the application of a novel “magnet probe test”. Three excipients, microcrystalline cellulose (MCC), spray-dried lactose monohydrate, and dibasic calcium phosphate dihydrate, were individually blended with 0.5% magnesium stearate, as a lubricant, and 2.5% tetracycline HCl, as a fluorescent marker, and were compressed using a Carver press. Tablets were coated with a solution consisting of 7% hydroxypropyl methylcellulose (HPMC) phthalate (HP-55), and 0.5% cetyl alcohl in acetone and isopropanol (11:9). The nature of polymer interaction with the tablets and coating was evaluated using CLSM and a designed magnet probe test. CLSM images clearly showed coating efficiency, thickness, and uniformity of film formation, and the extent of drug migration into the film at the coating interfaces of tablets. Among the excipients, MCC demonstrated the best interface for both film formation and uniformity in thickness relative to lactose monohydrate and dibasic calcium phosphate dihydrate. The detachment force of the coating layers from the tablet surfaces, as measured with the developed magnet probe test, was in the order of MCC>lactose monohydrate>dibasic calcium phosphate dihydrate. It was also shown that the designed magnet probe test provides reliable and reproducible results when used for measurement of film adhesion and bonding strength.