We present a generalized frequency selection method for N-frequency interferometry to form an optimum geometric series at synthetic wavelengths. The absolute range that is measurable is bounded by the number of beat frequency operations, phase noise, and the number of wavelengths used to form the geometric series of synthetic wavelengths. Theoretical predictions are compared with experimental results from a full-field fringe projector. A comparison of this technique with the method of excess fractions shows orders-of-magnitude faster processing with similar measurement reliability. © 2004 Optical Society of America.