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What is the correct way to serialize a Panel?

Hi all,

I've been struggling for the last hour trying to solve a problem in my C# application.

I have a "network diagram" form consisting of various controls placed on a Panel, and I am trying to implement save/load functionality for this diagram, so the state can be saved to disk and reloaded later.

I'm trying to achieve this through serializing the entire Panel instance - which I gather is not inherently serializable - to a binary file on disk. I have tried wrapping the Panel in a serializable wrapper class; and using Surrogates (which I don't fully understand), but have had no joy.

In addition, if possible could I be advised on the sanity of serializing an entire Form, as while writing this I realised that in addition to the Panel mentioned above, there are a couple of ArrayLists in the Form containing control data which I should probably also be saving.

I would really appreciate any help that could be offered on this as I'm working to an urgent deadline.

Thanks for reading; please request any additional information if required.

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ShazbotOK: I think you're right - since I posted the question I have spoken to a friend who agrees that XML would be better - if you don't mind I'll wait a bit to see if any other suggestions come up, otherwise points are yours.

I won't have a chance to work on this again for a day or two so please excuse any delay in assigning points.
Many thanks, sorry it took me so long to get around to this. I will try the XML route!