Viewing comics can be easy. Really, really easy. If you have a CBZ file, say, rename it to ZIP, open it in Explorer, and browse the images it contains – simple.
That works well for occasional viewing, but if you’re a big comic fan, or just want the best reading experience, it’s worth installing a specialist tool like the free Comic Seer.
At the core of the program is a very capable reader. A single click can fit a page to its width, height or both, rotate it by 90 degrees, display it full-screen, and/ or switch between single or dual-page modes, so there’s something to suit every layout.
If you need to check out some fine detail then right-clicking on an area displays a magnified view, or you can use the 1x – 4x slider as required.
If you like to multi-task then Comic Seer can open several comics at the same time, displaying each one in its own tab. These comics are by default saved and reloaded between sessions, but even if you explicitly close a particular file, Comic Seer will remember and restore your last-read page when it’s next opened.
Other navigation options include a Browse mode which quickly generates and displays clickable thumbnails of each page. There’s also a bookmarking system which allows you to tag a particular page and quickly restore it later.
A “Comic Information” viewer displays metadata for individual comics, if they have any (ComicInfo XML and ComicRack formats are supported). The program can edit this, too, although only if you install a third-party helper like ComicTagger (the interface offers some help to set this up).
If you’ve a large comic collection then it’s even possible to organise it into libraries, a simple way of grouping series together, with a search tool helping you find the issues you need.
Comic Seer is a free viewer for Windows XP+ and Linux. There’s also a $10 Windows 8+ app available with some extras (like Comic Vine integration), although perhaps not enough to justify the price – try the desktop version first.