What are the CBR and CBZ extensions? – How to open and convert them to PDF?

Many years ago, there were a large number of comic book fans. In more recent years, the number of people who continue to enjoy comics continues to grow. The difference is that years ago it was common to read this type of comic in print. While, in our days, with the advancement of technology, we can have programs to read comics on PC electronically.

CBR and CBZ extensionsSome times, it is very likely that we have wondered what certain file extensions belong to that we do not know. Even more when our computer does not have any application that can open them. These cases often occur with the CBR and CBZ extensions, which are used as comics viewers

In case you know this type of format or not, in this article, we will be talking deeply about it. We will briefly analyze some applications that will allow us to get the most out of it when reading CBZ comics or CBR. And finally, we will see how to convert these types of file extensions to the PDF format.

How to open a CBR and CBZ file?

What is the CBR or CBZ format about? Basically, your first two initials stand for Comic Book, and depending on the compression format, the third initial of the file type may vary. In other words, if the compression format is RAR, the file will be CBR. Whereas, if the compression format is ZIP, the file will be CBZ.

These file extensions were created in order to be opened through the CDisplay application, which was created by David Ayton. Thanks to this application, images can be opened in a certain order. Due to this, it is the ideal format to view comics or manga, since these are basically a series of images that must be presented in a certain order.

CBZ and CBR Files

For these reasons, the CBR and CBZ file extensions are one of the best formats in which we can read and view comics in a digital environment. Furthermore, these files can sometimes be opened through WinRAR or WinZIP, depending on the type of extension. This way, we will have the opportunity to decompress the group of images or slides that, together, make up the comic.

In addition, if we find a CBR or CBZ file on our computer, we can be sure that they are simple compressed files. These have images, which are basically the pages of the comic. And to enjoy its content, we must open them with a CBR and CBZ extension reader, which has been specially created in order to improve the experience of reading the file.

How to view files in these types of format?

By boxing the set of images through this type of special extension, its creator, David Ayton, and others who have tried to create this compression system, have accomplished two things. On one hand, they have clearly revealed that the archive is a comic. And, in addition, they have created a community of applications that are associated with the file compression format.

For this reason, in recent years, when clicking on any of these files in order to open it, the type of file may not open in a compression program. Instead, it will be open in the programs for reading comics on the PC. Thanks to this new configuration, it totally changed the way comic reading is performed on electronic devices.

Although this type of comic viewer format is not the most popular, it is possible that we will find other formats that are related to compressed files. Among those that we can find are: the CB7 format, the CBA format, and many others. Also, images that are compressed are almost always available in JPG or PNG format. The comic book format contains an extension that has been renamed. 

To view the files in this type of file, you can use any file manager. In this case, we will be able to observe the set of enumerated images found in the compressed file. However, there is always some comic viewer program specialized that is in charge of offering a better visualization. In this type of program, you can easily view the pages in an orderly and clean way.

How can CBR and CBZ files be created and edited?

In case we have comics in a printed format and we do not want to lose them, we can digitize them easily and quickly. And in case we want to create the CBR file extensions, we can do it and save it as this type of format. If we have comics in printed format, we can digitize them or scan each of the pages found in them. 

Once we have digitized the images that we have just scanned, we must order the succession of images and compress them, either in a ZIP or RAR file. After we do this, we will have to rewrite the extension of the file type that was just created. So, if it is a ZIP file, we will put CBZ on it; and if it is a RAR file, we will have to put CBR to the extension.

In order to change the type of extension, we will have to ask Windows to show us the hidden extension of all files, since it may be hidden. We just have to click on the options of the folder characteristics and select the option that allows to show the type of file extension. After that we can change the file format and have a comic in CBR or CBZ format.

Programs and Apps to read CBR and CBZ files

The reading of comics has been very common over the years, at first it was done in print. But over the years, and with the advancement of technology, the idea of ​​new methods to enjoy the entertainment of comic strips emerged. The idea became popular in the 1990s with the CDisplay application, designed by David Ayton. 

Currently, a large number of programs are available that allow you to read files with a CBR and CBZ extension. Each CBR and CBZ extension reader turns out to be very useful for those who run them. On the Internet, we can find different kinds of programs to read comics, both free and to be paid. Some of those are:

1. CDisplay:

In case you have a computer we can count on this reader already mentioned above. This is a lightweight and effective program, which may be the most popular and the oldest. Besides having a version for computers with Windows operating system, it also has a mobile application for Android devices. 

2. Gonvisor:

Also known as GonViewer, it is a very useful and free program that allows you to view comics, manga, magazines and books in electronic format. This application is only available for Windows operating systems. And it is designed for easy viewing the succession of images.

3. Panels – Comic Reader:

This is a CBR file extension reader available for iPhone and iPad capable of supporting and reading any kind of format to read comics. And it has a reader-friendly interface and design, so that you can enjoy reading comics to the fullest.

4. EbookDroid:

EbookDroid is a comic viewer available for devices with an Android operating system. In addition to the comic and manga formats, such as CBR and CBZ, we can also open electronic documents with the PDF, XPS, EPUB, MOBI formats, among others.

In addition to these programs, others are also available, such as ComicRack, Icecream Ebook Reader, YACreader and ComicCat among others.

In the same way these programs are available, there are many others that we can take great advantage of. So, as you see, we have many options available online that we can choose from. However, these are the main applications that are available in each operating system.

Convert CBZ to PDF online, is it possible?

All over the world, PDF files are more popular than CBZ or CBR file extensions. Because of this, many people wonder if it is possible to convert CBZ files to PDF online. It is normally to enjoy greater comfort or to find an application compatible with the type of format.


Although the two are totally different file types, converting from CBZ to PDF is easier than it sounds. We just have to look for an online converter of CBR or CBZ files to PDF files. Once we locate a reliable converter, we have 2 options:

  • We can drag and then drop the CBZ file that we want to transform into the online converter.
  • We can select the option Choose File, which is available on the web page that will transform the file type.

After this, we will have to click on the option “Convert”, and after the CBZ to PDF conversion is ready, we can easily download the PDF file. The conversion of these types of files is usually quite fast, and mostly tends to take a few seconds

Also, making a format change can be done on any operating system that has a web browser. It is not necessary to download additional software, but the converters work online, whether on Windows, Mac, Linux, etc.

As we have seen so far, the CBR and CBZ extensions for reading comics, manga and books are often very useful for many people. The method used to open and read them turns out to be very useful and practical. Also, if we want to convert them online to PDF, we can do it quickly and safely.

We hope that all this information has been of great use in case you need to open and read CBZ comics. Without a doubt, comic book viewing is advancing with technology, and we can now make the most of the great content offered by the comics available on CBR and CBZ.

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