Today I'm going to show you how to make Sequential Image Reader or Digital Comic Book files.
This tutorial is aimed at my fellow writers and story tellers here at Sugah's Place but, really, anyone can make and use these with any pictures they'd like. Uses can include (but not limited to) screen presentations to be shown at work, in the office or as a school presentation just to mention one use.
First, let's get acquainted and familiarized with the CBZ/CBR format.
CBZ is a file extention that means Comic Book Zip and can (but doesn't always) relate to the file archive program you use, such as Winzip. (Therefore, the Z as in the Z in Winzip.)
The other extension, CBR, simply relates to Winrar. You can use either archiving program to make either CBZ or CBR files, it really doesn't matter because whatever program you use and whatever extension you're comfortable with they'll still work just fine in a Sequential Image Viewer program.
Now, let's get familiar with the program that you'll use to read these files.
The most common and popular Sequential Image Viewer program is called CDisplay and can be downloaded from this page.
The program is small, easy to install and freeware! Also, it contains no hidden bloatware such as ads or other little annoyances, it's just pure program, which is why I highly recommend it.
Also, using this program is as easy as you can imagine! It's fully configurable and customizable. You can set a custom mouse cursor size (large or small), a custom image background color behind your images and there's a customizable auto resize feature that you can set so that the pictures you view will either fit within a box in the program or in full screen. All of this is done starting with a right-mouse-click in the program screen which brings up a menu from which you can select your customizations, go to previous page, go to next page or exit.
However you don't need to use the menu to scroll through pages since you can do that by using your mouse wheel or keyboard up and down arrow keys to scroll through pages and use your keyboard ESC key to exit the program. Very simple.
Now, let's get started on making CBZs!
First, when you're done creating and numbering your story images, collect them all in a folder where you can easily access (and edit) them if you need to.
Optionally, you can also resize your pics to a uniform size. I use a program called PIXresizer with which I can batch resize all the pages of a story or chapter, thus giving them a nice, even size. (But, then, this is for another tutorial.)
Now, once you've got all of your picture files in order, simply CTRL+A in the folder to select them all. Next, right click to bring up your folder context menu. If you've configured your archiving program to show a context menu item then click on it (as in the picture below.)
Once you've clicked Add To Archive another menu will pop up that will have an entry window in which you can put a file name. You can use any name you like but the important thing to remember, here, is that you're going to add the extension
at the end of the file name by simply typing ".cbz" or ".cbr" at the end of the name, without quote marks, of course.
The first time you do this your new CBZ file will have a generic icon associated with it but, if you've already installed CDisplay then you can right click on the file, select Open With... from the context menu and, if you don't see CDisplay listed in the selection box you can then right click and select the Browse... button in the lower right corner of the selection box from which you can go to your C:\Program Files folder (C\Program Files (x86) for 64 bit Windows users), find and open the program file folder then click on the program's icon to select it.
Once set as the CBZ file's default program you will now see a new icon in the picture folder you used. (See pic below.)
Now that CDisplay is associated with CBZ files you only need click on the file to open and read it in CDisplay.
That's it! Two simple steps and you've taken a whole folder full of pictures and turned it into a single, easy to manage, easy to read file!
The pic below is just an example of what CBZ files look like on your computer. In reality, the pages show full screen and one at a time and, as I said, can be scrolled through using your mouse wheel or up-down arrow keys.
Now, as a bonus (and hopefully incentive) to trying this out I include this tutorial in CBZ format which you can download here.
I hope you've all found this tutorial useful and inspiring. To my fellow writers I say Keep those stories coming!
Thanks for reading.