Until now, few studies have proposed analytical short-cut methods for reliably designing multicomponent reactive distillation columns. Therefore, in this study we have improved and extended a design methodology for the design of RD columns of multicomponent systems. We have developed a graphical design method, based on distillation lines and tray-by-tray calculations defined in terms of reaction-invariant composition variables, to determine RD design parameters such as the number of theoretical stages, operating reflux ratio, the feed tray location and the top or bottom flow. In this note, we report our extended and improved method, which is analytical and useful for reliably determining the design parameters of multicomponent RD systems. We study the synthesis of TAME with inert components (with different feed thermal conditions) as case of study to show the effectiveness of the proposed strategy. Results obtained with our strategy show a significant agreement with those obtained using a rigorous model of commercial simulator AspenONE Aspen Plus®. © 2013 The Institution of Chemical Engineers.