Abstract: In a thin specimen X-ray absorption and fluorescence can, to a first approximation, be ignored and the observed X-ray intensity ratios, IA/IB, can be converted into weight fraction ratios, , can be converted into weight fraction ratios, CA/CB, by multiplying by a constant , by multiplying by a constant kAB; CA/CB = kAB IA/IB. . kAB values can be calculated or determined experimentally. The major correction which may have to be made to the calculated weight fraction ratio is for X-ray absorption within the specimen. The activated volume for analysis in a thin specimen is approximately 100 000 × less than in a bulk sample. Beam spreading within the specimen can be estimated using a simple formula based on a single elastic scattering event at the centre of the specimen. Examples are given of the application of the technique to obtain both qualitative and quantitative analyses from thin mineral specimens. The minimum detectable mass and the minimum mass fraction which can be measured using the technique are estimated.