One of the main concerns of people who want to make the jump to online fax is if it's possible to sign faxes right from your computer, without time-consuming steps.
Luckily, there’s no need of doing things the traditional way (which means having to print the document, sign it, scan, it and then fax it). Instead, you can add a digital signature with just a few clicks - or taps if you are on your phone.
Once you save your digital signature, it can be added quickly on your faxes. Let's learn how to do it.
The Traditional Way - Too Slow!
When online fax first appeared, the only way to sign a fax was to first print it. After that you had to physically sign it, make sure everything is OK, and then you had to scan the document with the signature to then fax it again through your machine!
As you can see this was not very convenient because it took even more steps than when using a fax machine, where you simply receive it, sign it and then send it back almost immediately.
This all changed with the advances in digital technology and the arrival of digital signatures.
Creating Your Digital Signature
Now, when you receive a fax you can simply add an electronic signature and send it back, without having to download and print a document. This way of signing documents is very easy to implement, and there are a couple of ways you can integrate a signature with your online fax service:
The first one is through a fax that you send yourself. You can scan a copy of a document that you’ve signed, or you you can simply take a picture of it with your cell phone’s camera and send it to your online fax number. Once it has arrived to your account, you head to the member’s area of your preferred service, browse your fax, and look for the electronic signature button. You can see this method in action in this video by eFax.
The second way is better for people that don’t have a fax machine or a scanner. It involves downloading an app to your phone like “Sketch Pad” or “Fountain Pen” to make your own digital file. There are also web-based alternatives like My Live Signature, sites that let you draw your signature with your trackpad or mouse, and then let you download a PNG file that you can simply upload to your online fax service.
If you use a service with a mobile app, adding a signature is even easier. Some apps have already a Add Signature section in the Inbox area where you can create one simply by taking a picture of it or by tracing it with your fingers, in case your signature isn’t readable by the app.
Adding an Electronic Signature on Your Faxes
Once you have created your signature, it’s time to add it to incoming faxes.
When using your online fax service dashboard, you’ll need to head to the Inbox area where you view faxes, and on the top-left corner of the document you’ll see a button that lets you add your saved signatures. Then, you just have to place it on the correct part of the page.
If your service doesn’t have this option, you can add it manually using a service such as SmallPDF.com, that lets you upload a PDF to sign it. Then you download it and send it again using your preferred method.
If you are using an Android or iPhone fax app, just head to the Inbox area where you receive faxes, click on the document you want to fax, and then add the signature following your service’s instruction. eFax, for example lets you add it by clicking on the + icon on the top right corner on the app. A menu will appear where you will find the option to “Add a Signature”, tap on it and then choose between the signatures stored in your account.
Adding a signature to your digital faxes is pretty easy. The only part that used to be hard was actually creating the signature, but with all the tools currently at our disposal we no longer have to download a special program, a fax machine or even a scanner.
The quickest way to do it is through a mobile app (not to mention the most convenient, letting you access faxes pretty much anywhere), so if you sign faxes regularly you’ll be better off picking a service with an app like MyFax, RingCentral, HelloFax or MyFax, among others.