This paper describes in basic detail some of the techniques that can be used to study thin films and surfaces. These are all in the X-ray region and cover reflectivity, diffraction form polycrystalline films, textured films and single crystal films. Other effects such as fluorescence and diffuse scattering are mentioned but not discussed in detail. Two examples of the reflectivity from multilayers and the diffraction from iron oxide films are discussed. The advantages of the synchrotron for these studies is stressed and the experimental geometries that can be employed are described i detail. A brief bibliography is provided at the end to accompany this part of the 1996 Frascati school.