How to create a comic book archive (CBZ or CBR)


A comic book file, or archive, comes in a number of different file formats where the most common is CBZ and CBR [Wikipedia]. Both CBZ and CBR are created in the same manner, the only difference being the mechanism used for file compression (CBZ – ZIP, CBR – RAR). This article will take you step-by-step through the process of creating a comic book archive in the CBZ format with additional notes on how to create a CBR. This example will be shown on Windows 7, but the process for both Linux and Mac is near identical.

Image Gathering

A comic book archive is a collection of images that represent the pages a comic book (typically JPG or PNG). There are a number of different places these images may come from, including a scanner (if you scan your own comics), from the web, from your own collection, or from your own hand. This assumes you have the images you want to build into a comic book archive.



Building the file

Once you have the set of images you would like to combine into a comic, you will need to rename each file alphabetically in the order which you would like them to appear. It does not matter whether you use letters or numbers, although I always number sequentially. (Note: remember to use zero padding with numbers since “11” will come before “2”, but after “02”)



When ordered, select all of the images (ie: Ctrl+A) and right-click on any one of the images. Then select “Send To” and “Compressed Folders.” This will put all of the images into a zip file and put it in the same directory.



Creating a CBZ

You will need to change the extension on the file from “.zip” to “.cbz.” If you can’t see the “.zip” on the end of the file extension, you will need to turn off hiding of file extensions via the options in Windows Explorer.



Go to the view tab and turn off “Hide file extensions for known file types.”



You can then rename the “<file>.zip” file to “<comic>.cbz”



The icon representing the file will change to that of Comic Seer (or whatever other application you might be using to read comics).



The file can then be moved to your library or opened directly!



Extra: Creating a CBR file

A CBR file is exactly the same process except you will use WinRAR to combine the files. You will need to install WinRAR and it will add extensions to the right-click menu in Windows Explorer. When right-clicking on the images, you can select “Add to archive..” which will allow you to create either a ZIP file or RAR file. You will then rename the extension of the archive to CBZ or CBR respectively.

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