The total synthesis of compounds with interesting physical or biological properties is at the core of organic chemistry. Since only a small number of such compounds originate from natural sources, devising de novo routes to unique and artificial scaffolds requires the skills of planning and executing multi-step syntheses and having a toolbox of methodologies at ones disposal. Often, even the best plans require modifications, fine-tuning or entire rerouting, and chemists are faced with the daily challenge of choosing the right combination of reagents and building blocks for a whole set of problems: Which building blocks are optimal? In which sequence should they be assembled? Which reactions accomplish the task best?This text focuses on these basic considerations that govern the planning and execution of a synthesis. The author details synthetic strategies, provides criteria for ranking different synthesis plans, and provides guidelines for optimizing syntheses. References to the original work provide the reader with a means of further study of the details and original considerations. The text takes a more in-depth look at synthesis than do standard organic chemistry textbooks and is a useful complement to other books on the market.Furthermore it includes problems and solutions.