The packing and compaction of powders are general processes in pharmaceutical, food, ceramic and powder metallurgy industries. Understanding how particles pack in a confined space and how powders behave during compaction is crucial for producing high quality products. This paper outlines a new technique, based on modern desktop X-ray tomography and image processing, to quantitatively investigate the packing of particles in the process of powder compaction and provide great insights on how powder densify during powder compaction, which relate in terms of materials properties and processing conditions to tablet manufacture by compaction. A variety of powder systems were considered, which include glass, sugar, NaCl, with a typical particle size of 200-300 μm and binary mixtures of NaCl-Glass Spheres. The results are new and have been validated by SEM observation and numerical simulations using discrete element methods (DEM). The research demonstrates that XMT technique has the potential in further investigating of pharmaceutical processing and even verifying other physical models on complex packing.