The London Underground tube map is an example of something that not only looks good - but it is also extremely functional. Created in the early 1900s by Harry Beck, the original design is still the template for modern maps today. Okay, there have been minor modifications throughout the years, such as the addition of many more tube lines, but Beck's basic design still reigns.

However it was not an easy journey for the designer. Beck's map was originally rejected because it was not geographical. Indeed he enlarged the central areas and compressed the outer areas to make the whole complex map clearer. The map proved to be a great hit with the public and most other major cities, including New York, St Petersburg and Sydney, used his map as the template for their own underground maps.

The diagram is reproduced over 60 million times each year by companies other than London Transport. It is doubtful whether Beck ever imagined that his design would become an icon of London. He certainly would not have expected such a dry subject as a public transport route diagram to be the basis of so many witty and commercially successful souvenir products and poster images; today, the logo is reproduced on everything from tea-towels to shopping bags.

So it's no surprise that any tried and tested design formula is going to give results every time. Whether it's a new map for a huge infrastructure such as the London Underground, or a PowerPoint template pitched at an audience of healthcare professionals, a trusted design is bound to work.

To create a PowerPoint presentation using a template, simply click the Office Button, then select New. Template categories are broken down into Recent Templates, Sample Templates, Sample Themes, My Templates and Office Online Templates. Office Online templates are also available to download. There are a host of standard categories of template available from Office Online. Just click on a category to view the templates.

If you select a particular template, a preview appears on the right. If you like the look of the preview, click the Create button beneath. If you are previewing a template from Office Online, click the Download button instead, to download to your desktop.

When you click Create or Download, a new presentation opens. The layout, theme and even the number of slides present are all defined by the template you chose. This is just the starting point though; you can now change anything in the presentation to get it just the way you need it.

Once you've finished amending your presentation, if you think you'd like to use it as the basis for future presentations, you can save it as a template. Click the Office Button, then Save As, and then change the Save as type selection to be PowerPoint Template (*.potx). Select a location to save your template to and give it a name. Next time you create a presentation from a template, you'll see the template you just created in My Templates.

And PowerPoint 2010 offers new, animated templates with video features. These templates have inspired and exciting designs incorporating animation into ready to use PowerPoint templates. A key feature of these new templates is the included video background, some with looping video file integrated with the design. PowerPoint 2010 now supports text over video, so you can easily add your own content over the video. Check out PowerPoint templates to download at

Here, you will also find templates submitted by other Office users, including a truly inspiration rolling credits design which can be added to the end of any presentation to create movement and modernity. Now that is classic design at its best.