11/28/08
4:01 am

MacMost Now 165: Faxing From Your Mac

New Macs no longer come with telephone modems, making it hard to use them to send faxes. But two services allow you to send faxes for free or at very low cost. There are ways to receive faxes as email as well.

Video Transcript (Click to Expand)
Hi, this is Gary with MacMost Now. Today let's take a look at how you can send and receive faxes on your Mac.
So this used to be pretty easy. All you had to do to send a fax from your Mac was actually to go ahead and Print, and say print to a fax, and it would do it. How would it do it? Well, it used to be that Macs had modems built in. Little phone jacks in the side of your Mac, that you could then go ahead and dial up the internet. But you could also use the Mac to dial out and, say, send a fax. So you could print any document, as a fax. It would simply prompt you for a phone number, you'd enter it in, your modem would dial that number, and send the fax. It was great, except modems have disappeared from Macs. So, how do we do it now?
So, when you need to send a fax, but it's not something you do all the time, my favorite service to use is one called Fax Zero. So Fax Zero is simply a web page that you go to, and you fill out your information and the fax number you want to send the fax to, and then you attach the document-- you can use a dot doc file, or dot pdf file. Now remember, from any application in Mac OS X, you can print as a PDF. So if you have a nice complex Pages file, for instance, you can print as a PDF, and use Fax Zero to send it. The fax is free-- it attaches a little ad to the cover page. You also have the option of paying two bucks and getting it without the ad. This is a great option if you rarely need to send a fax, but when you do need to send a fax, sometimes it's very important and you need to do it right now. So remember Fax Zero dot com.
Now another service that I use is one that costs a little bit. They actually have a light plan that only costs twenty four dollars if you don't need to use it too much. And they have more expensive ones if you do use faxing a lot. It's Max Email, and in this service you not only can send faxes, similar to how you do at Fax Zero, but also you can receive them. You get a phone number, the cheaper plan puts the phone number in another area code but you can pay to have one in your local area code as well, and faxes send to this number will actually be sent to you in an email. You can either get an email notification when faxes arrive and go to the website to view it, or you can just get the fax directly in your email. There's also more advanced services, like voicemail, where people can actually call and leave you messages as well as leave you faxes.
Now when it comes to faxing, I do try to discourage it. After all, it's pretty antiquated technology. The first thing I do when somebody wants to send me a fax is I say, "Can you send it to me in an email?" or, even better yet, "Send me the original document, like Word doc or Pages document, or a PDF." Then I get a full resolution one, and of course I can print out as many copies as I need. Or, maybe not even print it out at all, and just save it on my hard drive. When I'm sending somebody something, I usually try to do the same thing. I use a scanner, and scan in the document, and send it to them as an attachment in the email. So most of the time, I can avoid faxing at all. But, for those times that you just can't avoid faxing, both Fax Zero dot com, and Max Email dot com are great alternatives.
I want to take this opportunity to remind everybody two things about MacMost. The first is, you should subscribe to our podcast. You can go to MacMost dot com slash iTunes dot html. You get this show, but you also get to help our ranking in iTunes, by being a subscriber there.
Next is, you can subscribe to my Twitter feed, at http://twitter.com/rosenz. And I'll tweet about things I'm doing for MacMost, or ask questions about what I should do in future shows. So check that out. Next is, we have a weekly email newsletter. You can got o MacMost dot com slash newsletter to subscribe to that, and I include quick tips, product recommendations, a summary of the videos we've done for the week, all that type of thing and it comes out every Thursday.
And finally, if you have any questions that you'd like me to answer on a show, or maybe just help you out with, feel free to email me. Email me at questions at MacMost dot com.
Until next time, this is Gary Rosenzweig at MacMost Now. Thanks a lot.

Comments: 3 Responses to “MacMost Now 165: Faxing From Your Mac”

    MotherHoose
    11/30/08 @ 9:13 am

    Ugh…you missed the best!

    http://www.fax1.com/

    they charge $0.12/page for delivered fax…and no other fees…
    they give you $1.00 free to try it…

    I have used them for years…and love the flawless service
    awful that government still requires faxes…

    James
    7/22/09 @ 9:44 am

    GotFreeFax.com is another website that lets user send free fax online to the US and Canada. User can either upload a PDF/Word file or enter text to fax. Plus, it does not add Ads to user’s fax, which makes it suitable for faxing formal documents.

    Kaye
    9/24/12 @ 3:22 pm

    Thank you James for the suggestion. I just used GotFreeFax.com to send some medical documents to my doctor. It worked great!

Comments Closed.