How to Send a Fax

Two Methods:Before Sending the FaxSending the Fax

Whether you are a young whipper snapper who's never heard of a fax before, or you've been around the block but just forgotten, you'll probably need to know how to send a fax at some point. Keep in mind that there are a number of variations between fax machines, so you should consult the manual or instructions for your personal machine if you have them on hand. Using most machines requires inserting a cover letter, dialing the fax number and sending your fax on its way.

Method 1
Before Sending the Fax

  1. Image titled Send a FAX Step 1
    Create the cover letter. Fax machines are often shared by offices or several people within an office. Since anyone can see a fax sent to a fax machine, it is a good idea to include a cover letter. This will ensure that your fax gets to the correct person.
    • The cover letter includes information like the recipient’s name, the content of the fax, and how many pages it includes. It should also include the sender’s information, such as name and fax number, so that the recipient will know whom it came from and can reply if necessary.
  2. Image titled Send a FAX Step 2
    Dial the fax number. Next, you will need to dial the fax number, just the same way you would on a telephone. On most new fax machines, the area code will not need to be dialed for a local number but is still necessary for long distance numbers. Some fax machines require the area code regardless of location. Check or ask about your machine.
    • The country code (the number 1 for US phones and fax numbers) will also sometimes need to be dialed before local numbers but only when the area code is also required. The country code is almost always necessary to dial long distance numbers.
    • You will often also need to dial 9 before dialing long distance numbers. Check the specifications for or ask about your individual fax machine.
    • Be sure that the number you are using is the fax number and not the phone number of the person you are trying to reach. Often the numbers will be listed next to each other on business cards and it is easy to misread it or look at the wrong number.
  3. Image titled Send a FAX Step 3
    Determine the feeding method. When you put the materials to be faxed into the machine, you will need to put them in in the appropriate direction. The paper will be scanned, so if the paper is facing the wrong way only the back side will be scanned and the fax you send will be blank. Ensure that the papers a facing the right side up before sending the fax.
    • Different fax machines feed in different ways. Helpfully, all fax machines are labeled with the appropriate direction to place the papers. Somewhere near the area where you feed the paper, look for a symbol of a sheet of paper with a corner folded down. You will see on this symbol that one side of the sheet has lines and the other side is blank.
      • If the folded down corner has the lines, this mean the sheets must be fed into the fax machine with the blank side facing you.
      • If the folded corner is blank, this means you must feed the machine with the front side of the paper facing you.
  4. Image titled Send a FAX Step 4
    Fax the right material. Fax machines work best with standard size paper. Sending anything in a non-standard size may not work or it may jam or harm your fax machine. If you need to send something of a non-standard size, such as a receipt copy, you will want to make a photocopy of the item first and fax the photocopy instead.
    • The most common size paper for fax machines, as with printers, is A4 or American letterhead.

Method 2
Sending the Fax

  1. Image titled Send a FAX Step 5
    Use your fax machine to send the fax. Once you have done everything listed above, you are ready to send your fax. With the paper properly inserted and the number dialed, you are ready to press send. This button will usually be large and well-labeled. That’s it! You’ve sent your fax!
    • You will notice that, after pressing send, the machine will make a series of beeps and whirring sounds. This is normal. These sounds are how the fax machines communicate with each other. When a fax has successfully gone through, you will usually hear a long, clear beep after a few minutes. When a fax encounters a problem and does not go through, you will usually hear it make a horrible sort of death-keen. If you hear this horrible sound, you should check on the fax machine to assess the problem.
  2. Image titled Send a FAX Step 6
    Use the internet to send a fax. It is also possible to use the internet to send materials to a fax machine. There are a number of services which can be used, most of which cost money. This can be a wise investment, however, if you do not send faxes very often and do not wish to buy a fax machine or deal with services like FedEx.
    • PamFax is an excellent faxing service for Skype. This program charges a small fee, however.
    • HelloFax is a service which integrates well Google Drive, allowing you to easily fax Google documents. It includes a certain number of free faxes and then charges a fee.
  3. Image titled Send a FAX Step 7
    Use email to send a fax. Depending on the number you are sending the fax to, it may be possible to simply email the file to the fax machine at no charge. However, you should keep in mind that this method only covers a limited number of fax numbers and can only send limited information.
    • You can check if the fax number is covered by looking online.[1]
    • Use this formula to create the address to which you will send the email: “”
    • Remove the quotations, exchange the numbers for the fax number (including country and area code), and first and last for the name of the person you are sending it to.
    • Note that only the text in the text box will appear on the fax. You cannot attach PDFs or any other material with this method.


  • Always enter the entire number, including the area code and a number 1 for long distance.
  • Most fax machines will have instructions by them. Let the wisdom of those that have come before you guide you on your journey...


  • If you are sending confidential information, be aware that ANYONE can read a fax that is printed. Double-check the number before you send it, and make sure the recipient is expecting your fax.

Things You'll Need

  • Cover Letter
  • Papers to be faxed
  • Recipient's fax number
  • Fax machine or computer

Article Info

Categories: Office Skills