Modern offices are changing. Every year a growing number of offices decide to use cloud storage and sharing services, and Google Docs is one of the preferred ones. But, did you know that you can also fax from Google Docs? In this article you’ll learn the two ways you can get started!
What is Google Docs
It’s a free online-based tool owned by Google that allow us to create, edit and share different types of documents, like text documents and spreadsheets. With this tool we don’t need to install any piece of software and is available for free for everyone with a Google account.
All the files created in Docs remain stored in a cloud-based virtual server, letting us do interesting things like sharing documents with other team members in the company, or accessing our faxes from practically anywhere, using a computer, smartphone or tablet.
Today, the service has been renamed as Google Drive, but in essence it’s just the same. The difference is that now also includes a virtual storage space to keep our documents on the cloud.
How Do You Send Fax from Google Docs?
There are two methods you can use to send a fax from Google Docs:
- Using an email to fax service
- Using a Google Docs Plugin
Using an Online Fax Service
The most common way to fax Google Docs files is with the help of email fax services. These are services that are linked to our Gmail address, and enable us to send and receive faxes from a computer.
From Your Fax Service’s Website:
If we have an account with an online fax service, we can just simply:
- Head to the “Fax Sending” page on your service’s website.
- Authorize the fax service to exchange information with Google Drive.
- To attach the document you usually have to click on the Drive icon.
- Then a new pop-up window will emerge, and from there you can choose the document you want to attach for fax conversion.
Not all services have this option, so if this is an important feature for you, try yo talk to customer service first.
From a Gmail email:
If it suits you better, you can simply fax from Gmail. Just follow all the same steps to send fax using Gmail, but instead of attaching the document using the paper clip icon, click on the Drive button. This will make a new window appear, from where you can choose one of the documents on your cloud storage account.
Using a Google Docs Plugin
By adding a plugin to Docs, you can add new useful features on your document screen. Some of the plugins that you can find on the Chrome store allows you to fax a documents directly from Docs.
Among the companies that offer these plugins, the one that stands above the rest is HelloFax. Downloading them is free at first (some companies include a number of free pages to try them out). But after a certain period you will have to pay per fax page or subscribe to a monthly plan.
Once you have installed the Docs plugin, you can send a fax using a sidebar. There you will have a form with all the necessary info you need to fill out to send the fax. Depending on the plugin of your choice you may find additional features such as the ability to add a cover page or send a single fax to multiple recipients at once.
Can You Receive Fax on Google Docs?
If what you want is to move all incoming faxes automatically to Docs or Drive, you can do so through an online fax service. They will provide a virtual fax number to receive fax on Gmail.
Inside Gmail, you can move the PDF faxes you receive to Docs by clicking and opening them in Google Drive.
This process can be automated using an add-on like Save Emails, which will allow you to save attachments instantly on Drive.
Which Method is Better?
Choosing one over another will depend on your workflow. If you work directly on Docs regularly, then a fax plugin will save you a few seconds, since you will have everything you need in a single window. But the downside about these plugins is that you don’t have a lot of alternatives, and in some cases you can end up paying overpriced fees.
If you just want to pull documents and store them on Docs, using an online fax service is a better alternative. Besides working with Docs, they provide integration with other cloud storage services on the Web such as Drop and Dropbox.
You should also consider if you need to receive faxes as well, because this alternative is only available through an online fax service account. The majority of plugins serve just to send faxes.
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