CDisplay Archived Comic Book Files

How to Open, Edit, and Convert CBR, CBZ, CBT, CB7, and CBA Files

Screenshot of several CBR files in Windows 10 that open with CBR Reader
CBR Files (CBR Reader Files).

CDisplay Archived Comic Book files hold comic book pages in image formats like PNG, JPEG, BMP, and GIF. The images are stored in a compressed archive format so that all of them can viewed, sequentially, from within a comic book reader program or app.

Comic Book files may exist in a RAR, ZIP, TAR, 7Z, or ACE-compressed file. Each format, then, goes by a different name, like CDisplay RAR Archived Comic Book (CBR) if the images are stored in RAR format, or CDisplay ZIP Archived Comic Book (CBZ) if the file uses the ZIP format.

The same naming scheme applies to CBT (TAR compressed), CB7 (7Z compressed), and CBA (ACE compressed) files. As you can see, the file extension, or more specifically the last letter of the file extension, tells you what format the CDisplay file was compressed with.

How to Open an Archived Comic Book File

Files that use the CDisplay Archived Comic Book format - be it CBR, CBZ, CBT, CB7, or CBA - can all be opened using CBR Reader, a free comic book format reader program.

Another free, open-source comic book reader program, CDisplay Ex (which was created by David Ayton, who popularized the comic book naming scheme), supports all the already mentioned formats except CBA, and GonVisor is one free reader that can open nearly all of these types of files too.

Some other free CBR and CBZ openers include Calibre, Sumatra PDF, Manga Reader, ComicRack, and Simple Comic. Linux users may like MComix.

Tip: Some of these CBx readers, like GonVisor, can also create a CBR or CBZ file from a collection of images, super handy if you want to create your own comic book using one of these popular formats.

A dedicated eBook reader is surely the best way to open and read a CBR, CBZ, CBT, CB7, or CBA file, but if you're interested, the images and other data that make up the book can be manually extracted and viewed individually. This works because, like you learned above, these Comic Book files are actually just renamed archive files.

Please know, however, that due to how the images are normally titled, opening a Comic Book file this way doesn't guarantee that the image files will be in the correct viewing order. This is only a helpful thing to do, then, if you want to pull out an image or two, not consume the comic as intended.

To open a CBZ, CBR, CBT, CB7, or CBA file this way, just install a free file extractor like 7-Zip or PeaZip. Then, just right-click whatever CDisplay Archived Comic Book file you have and choose to open it in the file extractor. This is done through the 7-Zip > Open archive option if you're using 7-Zip, but is very similar in other programs.

Free Mobile Archived Comic Book Readers

If you like reading your comics on the go, A Comic Viewer, Komik Reader, Astonishing Comic Reader, and ComicRack are free CBR/CBZ readers for Android devices.

Chunky Comic Reader and ComicFlow are a couple free ones for iPhone and iPad that open CBZ and CBR files. The former also accepts CBT files.

Although not free, BlackBerry users may find the Comics app helpful for opening CBR and CBZ files.

How to Convert an Archived Comic Book File

If you already have a program on your computer that can open one of these Comic Book files, then converting it to another format is very simple.

Sumatra PDF, for example, can save CBR files to PDF. Calibre converts CBRs to EPUB, DOCX, PDB, and many other formats. Check the Save As or Export options in any of those tools for the destination format you're after.

If you don't have a CBR or CBZ reader, or if your Comic Book file is small enough to quickly upload, I highly recommend Zamzar or CloudConvert. These are two different free file converters that support converting CBR & CBZ files online to formats like PDF, PRC, MOBI, LIT, AZW3, and others.

B1 Archive is a website similar to the two I just mentioned that can convert CB7, CBR, CBT, and CBZ files to other formats.

Tip: If you absolutely need to have your non-CBR/CBZ Comic Book file saved in one of the more popular CBR or CBZ formats, but none of these converters are working properly, remember that you do have the option of extracting the images with a file extractor like I discussed above, and then building your own using a program like GonVisor.

More Information About These Abbreviations

Given that there are several file extensions mentioned on this page, it's important to note that some of them also belong to unrelated technology terms that use them as acronyms.

For example, some CBT files might instead be Computer Based Training files, not TAR-compressed comic book files. Those types of CBT files don't contain comic book images, of course, but will instead contain some kind of document or media data and will only work with whatever tool created it.

CBT is also an acronym for complete binary tree, core-based training, Cisco broadband troubleshooter, and computer based test.

CBR also stands for constant bit rate, core-based reasoning, content based routing, and can-be-reached.

CBA might also mean control bus address, current buffers active, composite burst-assembly, and call behavior analysis.