Synthesis and screening of compound mixtures offer avenues to increase throughput and reduce cycle time in the discovery of new drugs and agrochemicals. Equations are derived which show that the efficiency of synthesis and screening of mixtures is a function of the screening hit rate and the number of compounds in each mixture when simple one-step deconvolution by retesting the individual compounds in each active mixture is employed. Values of hit rate and number of compounds in each mixture which afford various levels of increased efficiency are delineated. Two-step deconvolution, in which the active mixtures from the first round of testing are subdivided into mixtures with fewer compounds for a second round of mixture screening prior to final testing of individual compounds, is shown to be more efficient than simple one-step deconvolution under most conditions. For optimum efficiency, the number of compounds in each mixture in the second round testing should be the square root of the number of compounds in each mixture in the first round. At high hit rates the efficiency of the double scan or indexed approach to deconvolution is shown to be higher than that of simple deconvolution. This discussion is oriented mainly toward mixtures of 4-20 compounds and screens which give hit rates in the 1-10% range. The equations describing efficiency are applied in the context of a 49-member amide library produced as mixtures of seven compounds. This library includes the commercial herbicide pronamide and was screened for herbicidal and insecticidal utility.