Note: this is an older review that looks at eFax’s compatibility with Mac OS X 10.6 only. It does not take into account a user’s future upgrade path, something most users should consider when looking for an online fax solution.
We have a separate review for eFax with OS X for 10.7 (Lion) and later versions.
Mac Faxing Pros
- The majority of sending and receiving used the email and web interface.
- eFax Messenger software has a version for Mac OS X 10.6 and earlier.
Mac Faxing Cons
- No Compatibility with iWork (Pages, Numbers, Keynote) Native File Formats
- eFax Messenger (Desktop Software) has no way to change or edit cover pages on Mac OS X 10.6 and earlier
- Features such as signature stamps and faxing directly from a scanner cannot happen on the Mac version of eFax
Overall, the system works for Mac users very much like the version in the full review. However, the Mac version of eFax lacks some basic functions, such as the ability to edit cover pages in eFax Messenger, as well as file formats frequently used on the Mac OS.
Therefore, we consider eFax as having a moderate level of compatibility with eFax – the system functions, there is adequate infrastructure in place to make it work, but there are a few small things that we believe would cause Mac OS X 10.6 and earlier users some trouble while using the system.
Full eFax on Mac Review
Overall eFax Functionality on Mac OS X 10.6 and earlier
Sending and Receiving
Overall, the process of sending and receiving faxes on Mac works 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 OS X 10.6 and earlier the same way they would with any other operating system.
Integration with Mac Based Email Systems
Except for 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 another 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
Integration with Mac OS X 10.6 and Earlier
Integration with individual programs happens through the print driver, as is common with many fax based programs.
To send a file directly from a program within OS X 10.6 and earlier, select print and then choose to print by sending a fax from eFax. This will open up an eFax Messenger window, and allow you to send a fax the same way you would as shown in the main eFax review.
It appears that this should work for any program that can print, as the file is converted over to PDF format before sending it.
eFax Messenger can access fax numbers listed on a Mac address book. When composing a fax through email accesses the information listed in the address book already.
There are two places we find that there are “hiccups” in the eFax Service with Mac OS X 10.6 and earlier
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. The web-based interface does not have an option to edit cover pages. To edit them, 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 set to default, that page can be selected when faxing from the eFax web or email interfaces.
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.
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 to fax.
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 like 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).
90% of the time Mac users will be able to use eFax with the Mac OS X 10.6 and earlier operating system. The other 10% of the time – for example setting custom cover pages, stamps, or having to convert documents to a file format that may shift the document around from its original format – Mac users will likely find frustrating, especially if they do not have access to a Windows-based system.
That being said, eFax on the Mac OS X 10.6 and earlier keeps the majority of its functions when it comes to everyday operations.