CBR Files

Martin Brinkmann
Jan 3, 2008
Updated • Dec 20, 2012

I recently came across a download that included several cbr files and I had to put my memory to the test to remember how to view CBR files on the computer. CBR files are Comic Book Archive files that also come as cbz and cbt files sometimes. They are actually archives, like rar, zip or tar, that have been renamed to cbr. This has the advantage that a comic book can be distributed in one file that includes all the pages as images which is different from the popular distribution method as pdf documents.

The easiest way to handle cbr files is to simply unpack them using an unpacker like IZArc or 7-zip. This unpacks all images of that specific comic and you end up with several image files in a common format that you can browse using an image viewer that you have installed on your computer.

There is however another way that takes advantage of the cbr format. Instead of unpacking the files which would make the cbr file extension pretty useless, you can view them in a viewer that supports cbr files. (it would not make a difference if files would be supplied as rar or cbr files if you would unpack them in the end to view them)

The best viewer for cbr files is in my opinion the first one that emerged. It is called CDisplay and can load one or more files with the cbr extension. Linux and Mac users can take a look at this page which lists several applications for their operating systems that are able to view cbr files as well.

CDisplay can be used as any image viewer once it is installed. A click on a cbr file opens the comic book in the viewer where you can use the keyboard or mouse to navigate through the pages.

Update: You may want to try CDDisplayEX instead as CD Display has not been updated since 2004 I think it was.


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  1. KaoZ said on March 26, 2008 at 2:49 am

    yesss… same here i wanna read comix on my mobile… becos i am kind of a often-traveller

  2. Sophism said on March 21, 2008 at 1:54 pm

    Really i need one to view with on mobile

  3. nondescriptus said on January 3, 2008 at 8:18 pm

    For windowed mode, I believe it’s ctrl+w; otherwise, you can right-click for the the menus/other options.

  4. Martin said on January 3, 2008 at 7:39 pm

    I tried that one as well to open the cbr files but could not find a way to display it in a window only and I really hate applications that can only be run in full screen.

    Maybe I overlooked the setting but I could not find it. Do you know if this is possible ?

  5. nondescriptus said on January 3, 2008 at 7:26 pm

    I used CDisplay for a long time, before discovering CDisplayex:

    Based off the source of the original, but it’s far better in speed and features.

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