It is demonstrated that the kinetic plot representation of experimental plate height data can also account for practical constraints on the column length, the peak width, the viscous heating, and the mobile-phase velocity without needing any iterative solution routine. This implies that the best possible kinetic performance to be expected from a given tested support under any possible set of practical optimization constraints can always be found using a directly responding calculation spreadsheet template. To show how the resulting constrained kinetic plots can be used as a powerful design and selection tool, the method has been applied to a series of plate height measurements performed on a number of different commercial columns for the same component (butyl-parabene) and mobile-phase composition. The method, for example, allows one to account for the fact that the advantageous solutions displayed by the silica monolith and 5 microm particle columns in the large plate number range of the free kinetic plot are no longer accessible if applying a maximal column length constraint of Lmax = 30 cm. In the plate number range that remains accessible, the investigated sub-2 mum particle columns in any case perform (at least for the presently considered parabene separation) better than the 3.5 mum particle columns or silica monolith, especially if considering the use of system pressures exceeding 400 bar. The constrained kinetic plot method can also be used to select the best-suited column length from an available product gamma to perform a separation with a preset number of plates. One of the optimization results that is obtained in this case is that sometimes a significant gain in analysis time can be obtained by selecting a longer column, yielding the desired plate number at a larger velocity than that for a shorter column.