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We demonstrate a method of acquiring near-field scanning optical microscopy data that allow for the construction of three different types of images from one data set: topographic, constantgap, and constant-height. This data set includes the topographic features of the surface and the optical response at various heights above the sample surface. Comparisons are made between the images recorded in this format and both conventional, constant-gap mode images, and pseudoconstant-height mode images constructed using a single retraction curve. Zmotion artifacts are identified by analyzing the optical intensity for a given image as a function of the sample topography. Using this procedure it is shown that significant z-motion artifacts exist in the constant-gap images of gold particles immobilized on a glass slide. These artifacts are avoided by constructing constant-height images.