How to fax from Microsoft Office (Outlook, Hotmail, Word, Excel, and more)

LAST UPDATE: July 8th, 2017

There are a number of ways to fax from the Microsoft Office suite of products (Outlook, Hotmail, Word, Excel, and more).How to send and receive faxes from the Microsoft Office suite of products

Some options allow users to fax directly from the suite (for example, taking an open document in Microsoft Word and sending it as a fax) and others allow for sending a fax using a Microsoft Office document (for example, opening a program and selecting a Microsoft Word file).

On this page

Method 1 – Online fax services

An online fax service is a virtual fax machine that can send and receive faxes on your behalf. The service provides the fax number (or lets you port your own in), and users can send and receive faxes through email, a web interface, smartphone app, or computer program.

No phone line is needed – only an internet connection.

Most fax services can fax through Outlook (or Hotmail) as an email – when sending, an email is composed with the main body of the email becoming the cover page, and the attached file converted over to the main part of the fax. When receiving, the fax arrives directly to Outlook as a received email with the received fax attached as a PDF.

Some fax services have further integration with other Office programs such as Word and Excel – with this integration, an open Word or Excel file can be faxed (the process is very much the same as selecting “send… and email” from the file).

Method 2 – A connected fax machine

Some models of fax machines (or multifunction printers with a fax option) can send faxes.

The fax machine will need to be connected to a land-line phone line. From there, you can fax from the computer (connected through a cable or with some models over WiFi or Bluetooth) through the fax machine.

In most cases, faxing can be done through the print driver. In some cases, there is special software for the fax function that is different from the print function.

Method 3 – Fax Software

Fax software turns your computer into a replacement for a fax machine.

What you’ll need

Windows comes with Windows Fax and Scan pre-installed since Windows Vista (Windows XP came installed with Fax Console). Linux has some different software packages (including enterprise-level fax servers).

With a Windows computer, faxing is done by opening the program, composing a fax, attaching the Office document, and sending it (it works very much like an email program). While Windows Fax and Scan does not automatically update contacts from Outlook, they can be imported.

With a Linux computers, faxing is done very much the same way as Windows computers. However, there is little to no Office integration.

Method 4 – Printing and Faxing (the “old fashioned” way)

If none of the above methods work, sometimes the easiest way to fax an Office document is to simply print it then scan it through a nearby fax machine.

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