There are a number of ways to fax from the Microsoft Office suite of products (Outlook, Word, Excel, and more).
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 service
- Method 2 – A connected fax machine
- Method 3 – Fax Software
- Method 4 – Printing and faxing (the “old fashioned” way)
- More resources
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 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 a 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).
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.
Fax software turns your computer into a replacement for a fax machine.
What you’ll need
- Windows (XP, Vista, 7, or 8) or Linux computer (there is no fax modem available for Apple computers)
- Fax modem (either internal or external)
- Land-line phone line (a VoIP phone line will not work)
- Fax software (Windows and Linux both have free offerings)
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.
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.
- Windows 8 and 8.1
- Windows 7
- Windows Vista
- Windows XP
- Mac OS X
- Linux (Ubuntu, Mint, Chrome OS, and other Distributions)
- Fax Software
- Fax Modems
- Smartphone or Tablet
- How to email a fax
- How to fax a PDF
- How to fax from a VoIP phone (such as Vonage, Skype, Magic Jack, or Google Voice
- How to fax from Google (Gmail, Google Docs, and Drive)
- How to fax from Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, Outlook, and more)
- How to fax to an email address
- How to email a fax