An x-ray videoabsorptiometric technique was developed for measurement of bone mineral content (BMC) in vivo. The principle utility of this technique is the precise measurement of commonly fractured bones, such as the femoral neck, that are difficult to measure by other techniques because of repositioning problems. Scanning slits reduce scattered radiation and improve linearity of measurements. Heavily filtered, high-kVp beams are used to minimize errors from beam hardening, and data renormalization is employed to compensate for spatial nonuniformities of the beam and detector. Linearity of measured BMC over the range 0.8 to 5 g/cm2 is very good (r = 0.998) and compares well to single- and dual-photon absorptiometry. A 1.6% change in measured BMC is observed for a 10% change (approximately 2 cm) in tissue thickness while a 10% change in marrow type causes a 0.6%-0.8% change in BMC. Manual repositioning of a femur phantom revealed a variation of 0.84% over ten measurements when femur values were referenced to standards. A computer repositioning algorithm provides much easier identification of the region for analysis and yields comparable variation (0.9%).