A systematic procedure presented here draws distillation column configurations to separate an ideal to near ideal n–component mixture into n product streams with each enriched in one of the components. The method synthesizes all feasible basic configurations using n–1 distillation columns with each column having only a condenser at the top and a reboiler at the bottom. It also generates all feasible thermally coupled schemes with classical two-way liquid and vapor communication between the distillation columns. The method is simple and easy to use. The advantage of such a method is that it could be incorporated in a search algorithm to systematically find an optimum distillation scheme for a given application.