The true test of how clever a phrase is, is how it stands the test of time. "Less is more", for example, is a perfect illustration of a brilliant turn of phrase. Coined by Robert Browning in a poem he wrote in 1855, it has indeed stood the test in time. The term was adopted in the 1940s by minimalist architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, and it truly displays his devotion to pure Modernist design. And it's still in constant use today. Less is more can be applied anywhere from ballroom to boardroom. Think of when you create a PowerPoint presentation, for example: Do you really have to have slide after slide with just one image on each? Why not try to use one slide and add elements with effects to create more continuity?

Layering images allows you to control how images are placed on a hierarchical scale by controlling their order and how they appear on the slide. You can order the images on the slide so they appear behind the text or above it. This way the images can act as a background. PowerPoint's formatting tool allows you to organise the image objects on the slide by keeping track of the image's hierarchy.

You can show one item then another using PowerPoint animation effects. In previous PowerPoint versions, you may have used the bring to front and send to back commands to work with layered items. However, with PowerPoint 2007 you can now use the selection and visibility pane.

PowerPoint 2007 includes a selection and visibility task pane that keeps track of all components (shapes, objects, and placeholders) that might reside on a slide. Sometimes when slide components are stacked on top of each other, it is difficult to select each one. To open the selection and visibility pane, on the home tab, in the editing group, click select, and then click selection pane. In the selection and visibility pane, under shapes on this slide, click the object or placeholder that you want to select.

Go to the home tab, and the editing group click select, and the selection pane is accessible (it's also available on the arrange menu). The selection pane lists all the items that appear on your slide. When you select an item on the pane, that item is also selected on the slide. Handles will appear around the shape you have selected. Even the title placeholder is included. You can also find your way around the selection panel by using shift + F6 and then simply use the up and down arrow keys to select things on the slide.

You can rename each item on the selection pane so that it's easier to work with the objects. You can even reorder the slides to make it easier to work with. This is useful when you want to add animation to each object. You can then reorder your slide, images etc in the order you want the animation to work. You will notice eye symbols next to each object in the selection pane. You can click on one of these to hide anything you don't want to see while you are working on your presentation order.

You can use animation by clicking custom animation in the animations tab. The custom animation slide pane will now appear between the slide pane and the selection pane. Select a picture on your slide that you would like to add the effect to.

In the add effect command, you can select from a range of animation effects for your image including entrance, emphasis, exit, and motion paths. Entrance effect icons are red and exit affect icons are green. PowerPoint will show you a preview of the effect. The effect you pick will show in the custom animation task pane. To see all the animations for all your elements, slick on show all. Remember always unhide what you have hidden otherwise it can't be seen in the your presentation. To change the speed or type of effects for any of your element, simply make adjustments in the custom animation pane.