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An absorption method of soft x ray is applied to Heliotron E plasmas for measurement of the electron temperature. Nitrogen gas is used as an absorber for convenience, owing to its accurate, uniform, and easily controllable density. The general feature of the absorption method for measurement of the electron temperature is discussed using a model with two parameters: the generalized thickness of the absorber and the electron temperature. The energy resolution of this method is not sufficient as a general method for spectral analysis. Hence, it is necessary to assume in advance such a model spectrum as consists of bremsstrahlung, recombination radiation, and impurity line radiation. Since the spectrum is always assumed before the analysis, we should try to find the origins of deformation of the energy spectrum and to correct the contribution. The effect of line emission from impurity ions to the estimated electron temperature is evaluated as a function of the electron temperature and the energy of the line relative to the generalized absorber thickness used in the measurement. An actual spectrum is measured by a pulse‐height analysis (PHA) of the soft x ray. The one clear line, from chlorine, is not significant in the present determination of the electron temperature by the absorption method. Another possible line from iron at energy less than 1 keV is included in the analysis. Using a convenient method for determination of local emissivity from a chord‐integrated emissivity, the electron temperature is determined from the local emissivity. The observed broad electron‐temperature profile might be an artifact due to recombination radiation of the highly ionized ion diffused out of the hot core of the plasma. It is confirmed that the absorption method gives absolute measurement of the electron temperature at the plasma center, when additional information on impurity lines are given by PHA. The estimated temperature is consistent with the PHA meas- urement. The absorption method combined with PHA provides an easy and inexpensive measurement of the electron temperature compared with a system fully constructed by PHA.