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Visual Studio IDE like program.

We want to design our application like visual studio does it's IDE.  Specifically we like the way you can:
1.  "Dock" panels on the side
2.  Hit the thumbtack to lock it in place
3.  Have it smoothly glide out from the side when hovering over minimized description.

Does anyone know a way to do this without writing a control from scratch?
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1 Solution
Do you want it to be a MDI application ?
QualityDataAuthor Commented:
I think we are going to have to make it an MDI.
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QualityDataAuthor Commented:
We thought we might have to use panels with splitters as that example seemed to show.   We are surprised that microsoft has not offered a way to emulate its IDE environment easily.  We can add some button to dock/thumbtack the panels but we would like is some way to glide or slowly slide the panels out like in the IDE.  Any sugestions?
I don't know a way to slide panels. I do know how to slide forms though.

Private Declare Function AnimateWindow Lib "user32" _
       (ByVal hwnd As Integer, ByVal dwTime As Integer, _
       ByVal dwFlags As Integer) As Boolean

    Private Const AW_HOR_POSITIVE = &H1 'Animates the window from left to right. This flag can be used with roll or slide animation.
    Private Const AW_HOR_NEGATIVE = &H2 'Animates the window from right to left. This flag can be used with roll or slide animation.
    Private Const AW_VER_POSITIVE = &H4 'Animates the window from top to bottom. This flag can be used with roll or slide animation.
    Private Const AW_VER_NEGATIVE = &H8 'Animates the window from bottom to top. This flag can be used with roll or slide animation.
    Private Const AW_CENTER = &H10 'Makes the window appear to collapse inward if AW_HIDE is used or expand outward if the AW_HIDE is not used.
    Private Const AW_HIDE = &H10000 'Hides the window. By default, the window is shown.
    Private Const AW_ACTIVATE = &H20000 'Activates the window.
    Private Const AW_SLIDE = &H40000 'Uses slide animation. By default, roll animation is used.
    Private Const AW_BLEND = &H80000 'Uses a fade effect. This flag can be used only if hwnd is a top-level window.

    Private Sub Button1_Click(ByVal sender As System.Object, ByVal e As System.EventArgs) Handles Button1.Click
        Dim f1 As New Form1
        AnimateWindow(f1.Handle.ToInt32, 300, AW_HOR_NEGATIVE Or AW_SLIDE)
        f1.Show() ' makes the components show
        f1.Refresh() ' makes the background paint
    End Sub
By the way the IDE of visual studio uses forms not panels.
QualityDataAuthor Commented:
Yah, you're right the IDE uses forms.  I guess the trick is to get the splitter control working with forms.  

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