This paper discusses the role of resonant inelastic X‐ray scattering (RIXS) to unravel the nature of the states that are visible in the pre‐edge region of the 3d metal K edges. The traditional pre‐edge analysis into quadrupole transitions to the 3d‐states plus dipole transitions to the 4p states is outlined, with special attention to the situation of TiO2. The general possibilities of RIXS are described, including the various possible cross‐sections through the 2D RIXS plane. Recent developments in High‐Energy Resolution Fluorescence Detection (HERFD) are discussed, that yield XANES‐like spectra with unprecedented resolution. Using the 1s2p RIXS of LiCoO2 as example, the presence of an extra peak due to non‐local dipole transitions is explained. The non‐local nature of this dipole pre‐edge peak is proven from its behavior in the 2D RIXS plane. The paper also discusses a range of selective X‐ray absorption experiments, where the selectivity is towards (a) the spin‐state, (b) the valence, (c) the neighbor atom and (d) the edge. In the outlook, a number of additional experimental routes is suggested, which shows that the use of RIXS, HERFD and selective XAS techniques is only just starting.

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