Our previous papers on capillary electrophoresis (CE) have shown that samples can be derivatized in a capillary and the derivatives can be analyzed immediately after derivatization, provided that the derivatization reaction is so rapid as to complete in seconds. The present paper presents extended application of in-capillary derivatization to a much slower reaction such as the condensation of reducing carbohydrates with 1-phenyl-3-methyl-5-pyrazolone (PMP) which requires 30 min at 70 degrees C in pre-column derivatization by manual operation. It was necessary to first drive the introduced plugs of sample and reagent solutions to put them together at the entrance of the heated portion of a capillary, then to allow the superimposed plugs to react for a relevant period. We showed how to determine the introduction times of the sample and the reagent solutions as well as intermediate running buffer, the voltages to be applied for plug driving and product analysis, and the duration of voltage application, all of which are important for effective in-capillary derivatization. An example of the analysis of maltooligosaccharides by this technique is presented. It was shown that maltooligosaccharides were quantitatively derivatized with PMP in 35 min at 57 degrees C, and the derivatives could be analyzed in ca. 15 min by CE immediately after derivatization. Separation was satisfactory in 200 mM borate buffer, pH 8.2 containing sodium dodecyl sulfate to a concentration of 200 mM. Although the theoretical plate number, and accordingly the resolution, were significantly lower than the corresponding values in pre-capillary derivatization, reasonable reproducibility was ensured for both migration time (RSD 3.5% on average) and peak area (RSD less than 3%) under the optimized conditions. It is notable that sample amount could be lowered to the 10 fmol level, in contrast to the 10 pmol level in pre-capillary derivatization. In addition, since the technique employed here (the modified at-inlet technique of in-capillary derivatization) is easily automated, the established system will be highly beneficial for routine analysis of carbohydrates. Analysis by this technique was also shown to be useful for kinetic study of the derivatization reaction.