Reactive distillation process, a representative process intensification technology, has been widely applied in the chemical industry. However, due to the strong interaction between reaction and separation, the extension of reactive distillation technology is restricted by the difficulties in process analysis and design. To overcome this problem, the design and optimization of reactive distillation have been widely studied and illustrated for plenty of reactive mixtures over the past three decades. These design and optimization methods of the reactive distillation process are classified into three categories: graphical, optimization-based, and evolutionary/heuristic methods. The primary objective of this article is to provide an up-to-date review of the existing design and optimization methods. Desired and output information, advantages and limitations of each method are stated, the modification and development for original methodologies are also reviewed. Perspectives on future research on the design and optimization of reactive distillation method are proposed for further research.