A simple and convenient on-spot derivatization has been suggested for the modification of hydroxyl-containing compounds for their analysis by thin layer chromatography/matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization mass spectrometry (TLC/MALDI). The proposed approach was based on post-chromatographic acylation of separated analytes by 3-bromopropionyl chloride with simultaneous quaternization of pyridine. In contrast to the initial alcohols not ionizable in TLC/MALDI conditions, the derivatives, containing permanent positive charge, revealintense peaks of their cationic moieties in MALDI mass spectra recorded directly from TLC plates. The method was tested on a series of mammalian and plant sterols, phenols and terpene alcohols. © 2018 Elsevier B.V.