eFax Review – Mac OS X Supplement

This page is a complement to our larger eFax Review – but focused specifically on OS X Users.

Mac Compatibility Rating

eFax Mac Friendly Factor – Lion (OS X 10.7) and later – Poor

Snow Leopard (OS X 10.6) and earlier – Moderate – our full review for OS X 10.6 and earlier can be found here.

For Lion (OS X 10.7) and later versions:

Mac Faxing Pros

  • Majority of day to day sending and receiving can be done over email & web interface

Mac Faxing Cons

  • eFax Messenger software is not compatible with Mac OS X after version 10.7
  • Users will need access to a Windows computer to change some settings and work with EFX file formats
  • Features such as signature stamps and faxing directly from a scanner cannot happen on the Mac version of eFax
  • No Compatibility with iWork (Pages, Numbers, Keynote) Native File Formats

Overall, the web based system works for Mac users very much like the version in the full review.

The major challenge that exists for OS X users of eFax, however, is that eFax messenger is not compatible with OS X after version 10.7.

eFax messenger controls functions of the eFax system such as signature settings, faxing directly from a scanner, and eFax’s EFX file formats.

Therefore, we consider eFax as having a poor level of compatibility with Mac OS X for version 10.7 (Lion) and later – while the system functions well through the web, many of eFax’s advanced features, as well as some basic settings are not usable without a Windows interface.

Full eFax on Mac OS 10.7 and Later Review

Overall eFax Functionality on Mac OS X

Sending and Receiving

Overall, the process of sending and receiving faxes on Mac works very much the same way as in the overall review of the software. With the basic functions of eFax, users can send and receive faxes over the email and web based interface on Mac OSX the same way they would with any other operating system.

On Mac OS X 10.7 and later, functions such as sending a fax directly from the scanner do not work as that function is controlled by eFax messenger, which does not operate on version 10.7 and later.

Integration with Mac Based Email Systems

With the exception of some of the file formats and hiccups listed below, eFax works well with any email system, whether it is Mac OS X Mail, Thunderbird, another application, or a web based email such as Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo Mail, or other format.

Sending a fax by email in OS X is as straightforward as it is sending it in the main review, and does not depend on the type of email system in place.

Integration with Mac OS X 10.7 and later

Integration with Mac OS X 10.7 and later is nonexistent as eFax messenger will only work on OS X systems that are compatible with the Power PC system (OS X 10.6 and earlier).

The lack of integration means that features such as integration through the print driver and faxing directly from a scanner, and eFax’s EFX file formats are not functional on the Mac OS X 10.7 and later operating system.

As well, users of eFax will also need to use a Windows based computer to set up some of the basic features of the system, such as styling and customizing cover pages and signatures.

Contact Integration

eFax Messenger is not operative on Mac OS X 10.7 and later, and therefore unable to access fax numbers listed on a Mac address book when composing a fax.

Mac OS X 10.7 and Later Hiccups

eFax messenger, which is a cornerstone of the eFax system, does not work on Mac OS X 10.7 and later.

This means that a number of basic (and some necessary) features in the system are not available, and can only be configured through a Windows based system.

Custom Cover Pages

We see a major frustration for users in the fact that we cannot find a way to edit cover pages on the Mac version of eFax Messenger. It appears that the Mac version of eFax messenger does not have this ability – and it is not an option that can be edited through the web based interface. To edit cover pages, users would need to install a copy of eFax Messenger on a windows version of their Mac through Bootcamp or Parallels, and customize their cover pages from there, or find a windows computer to do the same.

Once a cover page has been customized and it is set to default, however, that page can be selected when faxing from the eFax web or email interfaces.

Signature Stamp

Like the custom cover pages option, setting up a signature stamp appears to require the use of the Windows version of eFax Messenger, for the same reasons.

Fax from Scanner

One option we covered in the full eFax review was the ability to fax directly from a scanner with eFax through eFax messenger.

The Mac version of eFax messenger does not appear to have the option to fax directly from a scanner – users will need to scan their document, save it as a PDF or other compatible file type, and then fax it from that format.

EFX file formats

EFX file formats will not work on OS X 10.7 and later, as they need eFax messenger to run.

Print from contacts

Printing of contact will not work with OS X 10.7 and later, as they need eFax messenger to run.

File Compatibility with Popular OS X File Types

File compatibility with Mac is adequate to function, however could be improved. Users who are not using Microsoft Office or Open Office will likely need to convert their file formats to PDF or TIF/TIFF in order to fax.

While users have the option to fax a document from the program using the print driver as mentioned above, or by converting a document to a PDF, TIF/TIFF, TF or similar format, we would have liked to see the ability to directly send iWork and other Mac based file formats directly in their native file format through the email and web based interfaces.

Users should note that there is no native support for the file formats that iWork suite deals with, such as .pages files. iWork users will need to save their file formats as RTF, Microsoft Office, or alternate save formats.

Mac users who run Microsoft Office or Open Office (as well as Star Office) should have few problems, as the system supports file formats such as DOC/DOCX and Open Document (as well as Star Office file format).

Conclusion

50% of the time Mac users will be able to use eFax with the Mac OS X operating system – those users are typically users who only use the basic functions of the system, the web only interface, and have a Windows PC that can configure some of the basic functions. The other 50% of users – who are looking for a system that is Mac only or are looking for more advanced features – will either need to run eFax through a PC all of part of the time.

Until eFax messenger is updated to be compatible with OS X 10.7 and later, most Mac only users would be better off looking for a system that is primarily web-based.

Online Faxing with Mac OS X

Our Full eFax Review

eFax Comparison Guides