The nanogrowth and nanofabrication of solid substances using an intense and focused electron beam are reviewed in terms of the application of scanning and transmission electron microscopy (SEM, TEM and STEM) to control the size, position and structure of nanomaterials. The first example discussed is the growth of freestanding nanotrees on insulator substrates by TEM. The growth process of the nanotrees was observed in situ and analyzed by high-resolution TEM (HRTEM) and was mainly controlled by the intensity of the electron beam. The second example is position- and size-controlled nanofabrication by STEM using a focused electron beam. The diameters of the nanostructures grown ranged from 4 to 20 nm depending on the size of the electron beam. Magnetic nanostructures were also obtained using an iron-containing precursor gas, Fe(CO)5. The freestanding iron nanoantennas were examined by electron holography. The magnetic field was observed to leak from the nanostructure body which appeared to act as a 'nanomagnet'. The third example described is the effect of a vacuum on the size and growth process of fabricated nanodots containing W in an ultrahigh-vacuum field-emission TEM (UHV-FE-TEM). The size of the dots can be controlled by changing the dose of electrons and the partial pressure of the precursor. The smallest particle size obtained was about 1.5 nm in diameter, which is the smallest size reported using this method. Finally, the importance of a smaller probe and a higher electron-beam current with atomic resolution is emphasized and an attempt to develop an ultrahigh-vacuum spherical aberration corrected STEM (Cs-corrected STEM) at NIMS is reported.Invited paper.