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Although email has replaced the need to fax in many aspects, some people and companies still largely rely on fax services. Faxing is an easy way to quickly send documents, whether you are applying for a job or submitting a loan application. However, many people today no longer have a fax machine. The good news is that you have multiple ways of sending a fax from a computer instead.

If You Have Fax Software

If you already have fax software on your computer such as Microsoft Exchange, Microsoft Fax or Page Sender, then this is all you need. Simply click on  New Fax  or  Send New  to begin. Enter the recipient s area code plus fax number and other required information. Consider adding a cover sheet to explain your fax, and then follow directions to attach your documents. Click  Send,  and the computer dials the recipient s fax machine. Once connected, the computer sends the fax. If you plan to send many faxes over time, consider investing in this software.

If You Have Microsoft Word

Many people are surprised to learn that some versions of Microsoft Word enable you to send a fax! When ready, simply click  Print  under the File menu, and then choose the  Print to Fax  option. Click  Print  and enter the recipient s fax information. The modem will dial the recipient s fax machine and send the fax once the modem makes a connection.

If You Do Not Have a Modem

If you don t have a modem, modern technology still makes it easy to fax. There are many free fax services online such as FaxZero or MyFax. These often limit the number of faxes you can send per day, though. They sometimes allow you to send a fax directly over the Web, or they require you to download free software to your desktop. Other online services offer fax options for as little as $3/month, such as eFaxing. If you own a small business or have other reasons to send faxes frequently, consider investing in an online service such as Nextiva or MetroFax. both provide up to 3,000 pages a month for only $30-$40.

If You Need to Fax Printed Documents

If you have hard, printed documents instead of typed documents on your computer   and no fax machine   then you have two options. First, you can use a scanner to send a direct fax. People usually do not know that their scanner doubles as a fax machine! Simply place the document(s) on the scanner and choose the  Fax  option on the display screen. Follow the steps to send your fax within seconds. Second, you can take a picture of your document(s) with your phone and email it to yourself. Then, simply choose one of the other computer options above to send the fax. Keep in mind that the quality of a picture of your document(s) will not be as good as a scanned version, but it is better than nothing.

Things to Be Aware Of

  • If you receive a busy signal or are unable to connect at all, then the other person s fax machine may be switched off, have a technical problem or have no paper. Contact the recipient to sort out the issue.
  • When you send a long-distance fax via a modem, extra fees may apply.
  • If you connect to the internet via a phone-line modem, then you must disconnect from the internet when you send a fax from the computer.
  • Free online fax services have limitations, either in the number of pages you can fax or in the number of faxes you can send. Research other online services that charge a small fee to avoid restrictions, especially if you need to send multiple fax orders.

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