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How To Fax For Dummies

Updated on August 19, 2009

Knowing how to fax is an important skill for anyone to have, whether you are an office worker, own your own business, or are simply an individual who wants the capability to send their own faxes when necessary.

In our modern world of technology, however, the choices for faxing have grown tremendously. Let’s take a look at the three major ways you can send a fax in our current world.

How to fax using a traditional fax machine

The traditional fax machine is still the most widely used tool for sending faxes across town, across the country, or across the world. Knowing how to fax using a traditional fax machine is the first bit of knowledge every person should learn.

Traditional Fax Machines

To use a traditional fax machine:

1. Place the paper to be faxed face down on the fax feeder tray

2. Dial the phone number of the receiving fax machine

3. Press the send button

4. Wait at the fax machine until you receive the “fax delivered” message on the main screen and/or the machine prints out a hard copy of the delivery confirmation

It’s no wonder the basic fax machine spread so rapidly and so widely, especially when you consider how easy it is to use. This incredibly easy to use tool marked a major transformation in the modern business world.

How to fax using a digital copy machine

More and more digital copy machines now also serve as fax machines as well.  This is an extremely convenient feature that used to only be found in the most expensive machines, but is now available in many models that are more reasonably priced.  There are even a number of home copy machines that include fax capabilities as well.

To use a digital copy machine for sending a fax:

1. Place the paper to be faxed face down on the feeder tray, or click on the copy machine icon on your computer

2. Dial the phone number of the receiving fax machine, or input the number using your computer mouse and the entry space on the screen

3. Press the send button on the copy machine itself, or click the send button on your computer screen using your computer mouse

4. Wait for confirmation of the fax being delivered; you can do this at the machine itself (looking at the message screen or a printed confirmation) or via your own computer screen looking at a message or receiving a confirmation document.

As you can see, one of the things a digital copy machine allows is for greater flexibility in sending faxes; this is a big step forward in making faxing more convenient and efficient.

How to fax using the internet

The internet has opened up a whole new realm of possibilities for faxing.  Now you can send a fax anywhere you want it to go with just a few clicks of your computer mouse.  And even better, the form of the fax you want to send can be flexible as well.  Whether your document is a printed hard copy, a scan of a printed hard copy, or an electronic version of the document, it’s easy to send any of these formats as a fax.

What’s more, you don’t have to limit yourself to sending a fax to a specific telephone number.  Most online fax services also allow you to fax to an email address, an instant message account, or even to a website domain name in some cases.  This is a major step forward in giving users the maximum amount of flexibility both in terms of the format used for sending and the destination where the item is eventually sent.  Now more than ever, there are enough ways of how to fax to meet the needs of anybody!

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    • profile image


      7 years ago

      You can think of a scanner as a reverse printer; printers convert e-documants to paper, a scanner converts paper docs to e-docs.

    • Ultimate Hubber profile image

      Ultimate Hubber 

      9 years ago

      You have posted some useful bit of information about faxing. Good work!

    • SweetiePie profile image


      9 years ago from Southern California, USA

      I loved how my old scanner had a program built in so I could directly fax documents from my computer.

    • ethel smith profile image

      Ethel Smith 

      9 years ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull

      It still amazes me the amount of colleagues who ask which way to put the paper in the fax at work. I know where to send them now:)


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