I have a form in VB2008 with 3 panels, each containing panels. How can I copy the formatting to create similar forms to it?

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How similar do the forms need to be? If they're almost identical, find the common elements and create a base form. From there create inherited forms using the base form, adding the changes as necessary to the higher level forms. Doing so will having the base form changes effect the inherited forms as well. See this post for more information.

If you need further instructions, feel free to ask.
HTH