In the last decade the large potential of capillary electrophoresis as a technique for separation and characterization of peptides has been demonstrated extensively. In this field, a large number of chemical structures has to be taken into consideration, for which very often no data or even standards are available. As a result, there has been a strong desire to relate electrophoretic behavior to molecular properties and structure of the compounds. The activities in that direction, in the area of capillary zone electrophoresis, are critically reviewed. Special attention is paid to peptide charge, mass, hydrophobicity and structure, and their influence on the selectivity of the separation. Also, some complexation phenomena are discussed.