How to fax from an office suite (iWork, Microsoft Works, ZoHo Docs, LibreOffice, or Open Office)

LAST UPDATE: January 10th, 2018

This page covers faxing with office suites other than Microsoft Office or Google Docs.

There are a number of ways to fax with documents from Apple’s iWork suite, Microsoft’s discontinued Works suite, ZoHo Docs, and the LibreOffice / OpenOffice suites of products (Writer, Calc, Impress, Draw, and more).

In most cases, the document to be faxed will need to be converted from the native suite format to a more popular format such as PDF, TIFF, or (sometimes) RTF.

Suites such as LibreOffice or OpenOffice use the open document format (ODF), which can natively be understood by some online fax services. Microsoft Works files may be able to be understood by some fax services as well.

There are no options to integrate fax directly into the workflow of these suites (for example, taking an open document in LibreOffice Writer and sending it as a fax).

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 any email application such as Outlook, Mac Mail, Gmail, 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 your email program as a received email with the received fax attached as a PDF or TIFF file.

Some fax services have the ability to send faxes as Open Document Formats commonly used in LibreOffice and Open Office and Microsoft Works document formats.

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 document, and sending it (it works very much like an email program).

With a Linux computers, faxing is done very much the same way as Windows computers.

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

If none of the above methods work, sometimes the easiest way to fax a non-Microsoft / non-Google document is to simply print it then scan it through a nearby fax machine.

More resources