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[q]how you made the custom sidepanel?[/q]
To open/view vpk archives (including original game ones) everyone uses GCFScape. For saving VTF textures, VTFEdit is the best tool. There are also VTF plugins for both Photoshop and Paint.Net All these tools are freeware and easy to find (made by same guy).
Info on how to pack your own .vpk or edit textures with alpha layers etc. is also easy to search & find.
Also there's a lot of knowledge of valve textures