CBR format, also known as the Comic Book Archive, is simply an archive file created for the purpose of sequential viewing of images and with no doubt what makes it possible for comic books to exist. Clearly removing any thought in your head that might be suggesting that comic books today are actually drawn by hand. But what do we exactly mean by an archive file? This is simply a file that is made up of one or more other computer files and metadata and may include a set of JPEG – an image saved in a compressed graphical format, PNG – an image saved in Portable Network Graphic format and GIF – an image file often used for web graphics. Not only does this make portability easier but also economical on space.
In fact, CBR files can exist in many different forms that you might have come across already. For example RAR, TAR and ZIP. What is more interesting though is that each of these formats goes by its own unique name. For example, if you store an image in RAR format then you will have to save it by the name CDisplay RAR Archived Comic Book or CDisplay Zip Archived Comic Book If it is stored in ZIP format.
This idea was however initially influenced and made even more famous by the CDisplay sequential image viewer. It was this application that stood out from many similar Comic book views of the time by focusing on allowing users to display their comic books and Mangas in a sequential manner.
This helped in that if you open a CBR file, it does not open in the original archive application that it was programmed to be opened in but instead, its content is viewed in a comic book reader. This right here completely revolutionized how we open and read comics on our digital devices.
Creating and Editing of CBR files.
Having in mind that CBR files are just differently labelled file types, you can simply use any archive application that is capable of opening and editing them.
Let’s say, you take an example of a comic book and just open it with any application you have that can handle ZIP files.
Please note that some applications like 7Zip recognize that CBR files are just ZIP files and can easily access them without necessarily having to rename it. However, this is not always the case with other applications that actually need you to manually rename it from CBZ to ZIP and CBR to RAR first.
After gaining access to a CBR file, you will be happy to know that they open pretty much the same way as the typical archive container. While in, you can easily take out its content, rename it, play around with the content and even add in more files. This allows you to easily amend and create comic books with whatever image you might want.
The process is actually easy to learn. Just save your images while at the same time ensuring that are numbered in order. All you have to do is make sure you do the editing as a ZIP archive and finally change it and have the final document with its extension changed to CBZ. In all this process, it is the numbering that might get your hands full but even that has been automated today. There is a trick in Windows to get that done for you using Windows File Explore or for full control over this comic project, you can get the services of bulk renaming apps like Bulk Rename Utility.
To effectively number, just remember to have it in starting with zero when numbering your files to make sure your files work well across the existing wide range of operating systems. Let’s say there are 100 files that you need to number in order, don’t just start with filename1.jpg to filename100.jpg instead use filename001.jpg to filename100.jpg. Don’t heed this and your comic reader might end up ordering them randomly.
Most efficient software for Opening CBR files.
For Windows, you still have CDisplay, a premium lightweight leader for CBR and CBZ files. But you have the choice of ComicRack too.
For MacOs, there is SimpleComic and Linux users should definitely try out MComix, a powerful reader but no longer in development.
Comics are most likely to go hand in hand with tablets and luckily there are apps out there that can turn them to mobile comic book readers. For example, Android users can try out Astonishing Comic reader or the free ComicRack Companion app. iOS users also have ComicRack and ComicZeal to get them connected too.
In fact, simply put, these are just ZIP and RAR files with modified extensions. You can go even ahead and simply describe them even more by just defining them as just archive files with images inside.