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Visual Studio 2012 - Application with multiple forms

I'm new to Visual Studio, certainly with regard to forms!

I am reconstructing an old application I made with IT Support Tools and because I didnt want to have loads of buttons on one page it has "pages" of tools to switch to.
The Main or opening pageProcesses page
As you can see from the images, when you click a button on the left the page changes but the left menu remains. A bit like a web page.

How do I achieve this simply in Visual Studio? I have attempted buttons that hide forms and opens another but it feels messy.
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fruitloopy
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fruitloopy
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1 Solution
 
Carl TawnSystems and Integration DeveloperCommented:
I guess to replicate what you have already you could use Panel controls. You can have multiple panels on a single form and show/hide them as needed in response to the options in your menu.

The Panel is simply a flat container for other controls, so you'll need one per menu option.
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Éric MoreauSenior .Net ConsultantCommented:
or you can create a form with your left menu and then inherit from this base form when you need to create the 2 other
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fruitloopyAuthor Commented:
It looks like panels is the way to go and I'm currently experimenting with that.
I have common text boxes and labels that I would like to have visible on each panel but I cannot find out how to do this.

E.g. This is a desktop support tool that has a txtHostName textbox and a lblHostName label.

I cant find how to make these appear with the typed information in all panels in the same place.
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Carl TawnSystems and Integration DeveloperCommented:
If they're shared, you could potentially put them at the top of the form outside of any panel.

If the data changes depending on the panel then you might want to look at creating a composite control. You would still need an instance of the composite control on each panel, but at least it would be simpler to maintain.
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fruitloopyAuthor Commented:
Panels it is. Thanks
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