We tested a new soft-x-ray transmission spectromiscropy technique on the Aladdin storage ring at the Wisconsin Synchrotron Radiation Center. Transmitted x rays were converted with a photocathode into photoelectrons, which were subsequently electron-optically processed by an x-ray secondary electron-emission microscope producing submicron-resolution images. Test images demonstrated the excellent contrast due to the chemical differences between silicon features and a silicon nitride substrate. We also obtained x-ray transmission versus photon energy curves for microscopic specimen areas. (C) 1996 American Institute of Physics.