How to Fax Without Using a Fax Machine

Three Methods:Use Your Computer To FaxFind a ServiceOffice Tools For Faxing

The fax machine was once a staple of business communications. You could almost instantly send documents, contracts, and information over the phone lines, anywhere in the world. Despite the rise of email and easy file transfer, though, faxing has not disappeared completely. In some cases, sending a fax is actually required. While you may no longer have an official "fax machine" at your disposal, we can show you a few companies that provide computer-based fax service for little or no cost.

Method 1
Use Your Computer To Fax

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    Prepare your documents. If you are going to use your system as a traditional fax machine, connected to a phone line, you can use dedicated software on your computer.
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    For Windows 7:
    • Click Start, All Programs, Windows Fax and Scan, and then press Enter. This will launch Windows Fax and Scan.
    • Click New Fax in the upper left of the toolbar. Follow the wizard to connect to the phone line.
    • Fill out the fax form by entering the destination phone number, typing in your message, and attaching your documents.
    • When done, click Send.
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    For Macintosh:
    • Open the document you want to fax. Make any necessary edits.
    • From the File menu, select Print.
    • Click the PDF button, and choose Fax PDF from the popup menu.
    • Enter the fax number of the recipient in the To field, taking care to include the "1" and area code, and any outside-line access code (such as dialing 9 first).
    • In the Modem' box, choose Internet Modem as the means for sending your fax.
    • If you want a cover page—select the "Use Cover Page" option, and fill out as appropriate.
    • Click the Preview button to review the fax before sending. When it's ready, click Send.
    • Note: Some versions of Mac OSX do not include the Fax command.

Method 2
Find a Service

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    Pick a fax service. There are a number to choose from, and finding the right one might feel overwhelming, so we've done some work narrowing down the field. While there are certainly more, these are some of the top providers.
    • MyFax. MyFax is an Internet fax service that lets you send and receive faxes through your email, the web, or a smart phone. It has a low monthly rate (currently $10 USD), and with that you can send 100 pages a month, and receive 200. Although tied to your email account, MyFax also gives you a "real" fax number so that clients who are still pushing keypads can reach you the old fashioned way—with a high-pitched whine and a burst of static noise. Brings back memories, doesn't it?
    • eFax. Like the other services, it is tied to your email, give you a fax number for the millennially-challenged, and is relatively inexpensive. The first month is free! It also offers lifetime storage of your faxed documents, which could come in handy.
    • FaxZero. How does free faxing sound? It sounds great! Welcome to FaxZero, which offers plans like all the others, but it adds another little twist—you can send up to 5 free faxes a day for free. They do place ads on your cover sheet, so it's not really free, but you're not paying any money out of pocket. For infrequent fax needs, this is a very handy service.
    • hellofax. You can send your first couple faxes within the US for free. It provides an easy to use interface but requires you to sign up for a free account that is tied to your email address.

Method 3
Office Tools For Faxing

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    Replacing your fax is easy! Consider what comprises the traditional machine: A simple black-and-white scanner, an electronic connection from one location to another—aka a phone line, and a thermal printer that even in 1984 was antique technology. Today, those same tools might laying around your home or office: a computer, a full-color inkjet printer, a high-resolution, low-cost flatbed scanner, and broadband internet. It's like a fax machine on steroids!
    • You may not have a printer—so many things these days just don't need to be printed, so why bother? But printers do have advantages. With the quality they deliver, you aren't limited to printing out black-and-white reports or blurry pictures of your niece and nephew—with the right paper (and a modicum of talent), your photos could be worthy of framing.
    • Likewise with a scanner. If you never have to scan a document, you don't need one of these, but they come in handy for many other things besides faxing—scanning old photos of yourself for Facebook, doing "art scans" of your face pressed against the glass, etc. They're also useful for scanning your signature, priceless old documents that you love to look at but don't want to handle too much, etc.
    • If you do a lot of printing and scanning, an all-in-one printer has pretty much everything you need: printing, scanning, even faxing the old-fashioned way—with a phone line! (Assuming, of course, that you have phone service).
    • Most online fax services have mobile apps available on the Google Plan and Apple market. This allows you to send or receive faxes from anywhere, you literally only need internet access if you download one of these apps. Here is a list of the mobile faxing apps available with links to download them straight on to your phone: Fax Services with Mobile Apps


  • If you do not have or do not want to purchase an all-in-one printer, using a digital camera is always an option.
  • Additionally, you may want to convert the scanned image into a PDF file, or edit it with Photoshop.
  • When scanning a document, scan it at a resolution of 300 and standard letter size for best resolution.
  • Recycle your old fax machine through your local computer store.

Things You'll Need

  • Computer
  • Internet
  • Email
  • Online Fax Service
  • All-in-one printer (optional)
  • Smartphone (optional for mobile faxing)

Sources and Citations

  • How to Email to Fax
  • How to Prepare Paperwork for Scanning
  • How to Email a Scanned Document
  • How to Learn About How Freecycle Works

Article Info

Categories: Office | Office Skills