Fax from my computer?
May 2, 2011 3:39 AM   Subscribe

I need to send a fax. Is it possible to do it from my computer?

I've Googled, obviously, but there's so much nonsense and outdated info out there that I thought it would be simpler to ask here and see if anyone knows the simplest way to send a fax via my PC (Windows 7).

I can always go out and send it from a copy shop, but it would be handy not to have to do so.

Are any of the 'send a fax' sites any good? I don't mind paying if necessary, but it's just a one-off so I don't want to sign up for anything.

All tips appreciated, thanks!

I need to fax a scan of a form to a government department, so there's no getting around it - it's totally ridiculous in this day and age but that's how they roll.
posted by rubbish bin night to Computers & Internet (10 answers total) 15 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: I have used the free and paid versions of Fax Zero successfully.
posted by deeaytch at 4:00 AM on May 2, 2011 [1 favorite]

I've had an account with FaxItNice for a while, and it's worked just fine whenever I've needed to send faxes -- usually to government departments. The one-off service is expensive, and you have to add credit in $20 increments for the cheaper prepaid send-only service, but that credit doesn't expire, which means that it's around when I need it.
posted by holgate at 4:38 AM on May 2, 2011

I've had an account at Maxemail for at least 10 years, but buying even the least expensive account is going to be kind of ridiculous to send 1 fax.
posted by COD at 5:00 AM on May 2, 2011

My version of Windows 7 came with Windows Fax and Scan, which should be all you need (as long as you have a way to scan the completed form in). It doesn't let you combine multiple pages into a single document for saving or faxing, which is a huge pain for my purposes, but it doesn't sound like that will create a problem for you.

And if there is a way to scan multiple pages into a single document, I would be much obliged if someone would educate me.
posted by DrGail at 5:04 AM on May 2, 2011

I had a similar issue and found the various services either inconvenient or expensive enough that it was easier just to go over to the library and pay them $0.50/page or whatever it is they charge to send a fax.

If you're going to be doing this every day, some of the prepaid services look pretty good in terms of cost per page sent ... but they mostly seem to have the issue holgate mentions, where they require you to "load" the account in large increments (like $10 or $20). For me, since I wasn't sure when or if I'd ever use the service again, that was just too much.

Plus, it's pretty much donating to the library. Can't feel bad about that.
posted by Kadin2048 at 7:28 AM on May 2, 2011

I use Green Fax, from a recommendation here. I don't use it often but had to buy a pre-paid package. It works fine but will be overkill if you really are only sending one fax. Before that I just went to a UPS store or the closest currency exchange and paid the $1.50 per page. My library doesn't offer fax services, call first.
posted by Bunglegirl at 8:56 AM on May 2, 2011

I've had success with fax1 before. $0.12/page domestic, with $1 credit if you sign up with a non-free email address (ie not gmail/hotmail). If your document is under 8 pages, you may be able to fax it for free. Using the site, they're clearly not spending much money on the interface, but it's functional.
posted by yuwtze at 10:07 AM on May 2, 2011

DrGail :

I have done this with the WinXP version of Picture and Fax Viewer - hopefully the Win 7 version is similar :

1. Scan all of your pages into a single directory, with the same base file name :

fax_01.tif, fax_02.tif, fax_03.tif, etc.

2. Open the first one with Picture and Fax Viewer (this may work opening any of them).

3. Click the print icon - this brings up the Photo Printing Wizard

4. Click Next - the wizard will show you all of the files in the directory, in alphabetical order.

5. Click Select All, then Next

6. Select whatever Print-To-PDF file driver you have installed (AdobePDF, PrimoPDF, PDF XChange), and print it to a file.

You now have a single PDF file containing all of the scans in order.
posted by rfs at 10:37 AM on May 2, 2011

I had the same need, and FaxItNice works fine.

Windows 'Fax and Scan' requires that you have a modem with a phone line connected.
posted by 4midori at 10:59 AM on May 2, 2011

Response by poster: Thanks everyone for the great suggestions. I ended up going with Fax Zero as it was simple and (very) cheap for a single fax, and I could pay by PayPal.
posted by rubbish bin night at 12:21 PM on May 2, 2011

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