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Quantitative interpretation of a magnetic force microscopy (MFM) image usually requires detailed knowledge of the magnetization configuration of the sensing tip. Here, we demonstrated a technique that converts the obtained raw MFM image into the magnetic pole density distribution without explicitly knowing the tip magnetization orientation. By creating an approximate point source of magnetic poles in the same sample imaged, the impulse response function of the MFM tip is obtained for deconvolution of a raw image in the Fourier space. Experimental demonstrations with various tip magnetization orientations were performed on recorded magnetic transitions in a thin film longitudinal medium. © 1998 American Institute of Physics.