A theory of comprehensive two-dimensional separations by liquid chromatographic techniques is overviewed. It includes heart-cutting and comprehensive two-dimensional separation modes, with attention to basic concepts of two-dimensional separations: resolution, peak capacity, efficiency, orthogonality and selectivity. Particular attention is paid to the effects of sample structure on the retention and advantages of a multi-dimensional HPLC for separation of complex samples according to structural correlations. Optimization of 2D separation systems, including correct selection of columns, flow-rate, fraction volumes and mobile phase, is discussed. Benefits of simultaneous programmed elution in both dimensions of LCxLC comprehensive separations are shown.Experimental setup, modulation of the fraction collection and transfer from the first to the second dimension, compatibility of mobile phases in comprehensive LCxLC, 2D asymmetry and shifts in retention under changing second-dimension elution conditions, are addressed. Illustrative practical examples of comprehensive LCxLC separations are shown.