How to Read CBR Comic’s On An iPad

comicflowWhat is a CBR file and how to open one?:

A CBR file is actually a CDisplay RAR Archived Comic Book file. To the more computer literate users reading this it is very similar to a ZIP or RAR file. If you don’t have access to a CBR reader but want to view the files contents, simply rename the file from ‘example.cbr’ to ‘’ and it will then open in WinZip, WinRar or you’re compression software of choice.

CBR iPad ReaderComicFlow

Having already over the past year replaced most of my existing book library with digital variants on my iPad to cut back on storage requirements, I have only recently started to appreciate its use for reading comics on it also.

As everyone who has comics knows that having countless comics around the place both takes up a lot of space and either starts to look untidy or can lead to them living in a box forever because the task of getting them back out is to tiresome. For this reason after recently reading about the CBR file format, I thought I would give it a week try.

I started with getting a CBR file (Google the comic you’re after followed by ‘.cbr’ and you should find something to test with), then I had to find a CBR Reader for the iPad. I found several but decided to go with Comic Flow mainly because it was free and I didn’t even know if I would still be using after my trial week.

After installing the app, I found it a little confusing at first but after a few days I absolutely love it. To save everyone else the efforts of figuring out how to use the app I thought I would create a how to for any less technical savvy comic lovers out there.

How to transfer a CBR/CBZ/PDF to ComicFlow:

Option 1: (wired transfers)

  1. Open your iPad within iTunes.
  2. In the ‘Devices’ section in the left hand panel click on your iPads name.
  3. Click the ‘Apps’ tab along the top line.
  4. Scroll about half way down the page until you see the ‘File Sharing Section’ where you should see ‘ComicFlow’
  5. Click it and just to the right of it will now display all the issues you currently have in ComicFlow.
  6. Click the ‘add file’ button, locate the file and click ok.
  7. Now on the iPad open up ‘ComicFlow’ and click the little sprocket icon in the top right corner and click update library.
  8. Your library will now check for the changes made and display your added issues.

Option 2: (wireless transfers)
This was is quite a bit more difficult as there are little to no instructions. However perfecting this will save you a bunch of time and also allows additional (much needed) features like sorting/filing your comics into categories.

  1. To begin you will need to program that supports WebDAV connections, there are a bunch out there but I recommend ‘Cyberduck’ as it’s free and simple to use.
  2. With iPad in hand (and with Wifi ON), open ComicFlow, click the sprocket and turn ‘WebDav’ server to ‘ON’.
  3. You should now see server login details including the server address, username and password. (NOTE: this password changes every time you turn the server on/off )
  4. Open ‘Cyberduck’ (or your WebDav program of choice), click ‘Open Connection’.
  5. Enter the details found in ComicFlow and hit click connect.
  6. After the connection has been established you will see all your existing comics.
  7. To add more, simply drag your comic file(s) into the window which will then show the transfer process window.
  8. That’s it, although as in the wired version you will now need to open up ‘ComicFlow’ and click the little sprocket icon in the top right corner and click update library.

How to sort in series/rename comics in Comicflow

If you are like me and hate things being unorganised you will want to file issues into their relevant series/categories. However unfortunately you can only do this using the wireless option above (Option 2).

To sort comics in series/categories;

  1. Open Cyberduck.
  2. Connect to ComicFlow on the iPad.
  3. Right click in explorer window and select ‘add folder’
  4. Name the new folder what you like.
  5. Click and drag any existing uploaded issues into the relevant folder.

To rename comics;

  1.  Open Cyberduck.
  2. Connect to ComicFlow on the iPad.
  3. Right click on an already uploaded issue.
  4. Click ‘info’ and a new window will appear allowing you to rename among other things.

Overall, although reading comic’s on the iPad is great and a lot more convenient as well as hugely space saving, as a lover of silver age comics it won’t replace me collecting desired issues. However having them on the iPad does now allow me to actually read them anywhere/anytime I want without fear of ‘damaging’/’devaluing’ them!

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