Google Drive has plenty of features for their users, such as 15GB of storage space (you can opt for a paid plan if you need more), integration with other Google services, mobile accessibility and you can even create different types of documents from scratch, without having to download any additional application.
But did you know that you can also fax from Google Drive?
In the past few years, email fax services have evolved by integrating innovative features, and one of them is the ability to fax cloud-stored documents, not only from Google Drive but also from other popular services such as Drop and Dropbox.
Whether you fax from a computer or your cell phone, you can quickly send a cloud documents with just a few clicks. There are many advantages to using this method of faxing. The obvious ones are that they make faxing faster and easier, but you can also access and edit your documents anywhere thanks to the Drive app so, if you want to make a quick change you can do it very quickly with your computer or phone.
Let’s take a look at the different Google Drive fax methods:
- Using your Gmail account.
- Linking your Google Drive account to an online fax service.
- Using a Google Drive add-on.
Fax Google Drive Documents From Gmail
We’ve already written a guide on how to fax from a Gmail account, but in a nutshell, you can send and receive faxes using nothing but Gmail thanks to email fax services, companies that provide you with the power of their fax servers so can fax online using a Google fax number.
This method of faxing has proved to be the next step in this still-used technology. It has led fax companies to start integrating powerful features to their services. One of them is the ability to “pull” documents from your linked Drive account.
When you fax with your email, you are basically sending a fax to your service’s fax servers; it will then forward a converted and secured fax file to the recipient. There are key differences with this faxing method though:
So, if you have used Gmail before, you may already know how to attach a document to fax. You have to click on the paperclip icon located on the bottom left of your composing window.
If you need a document from your computer, the paperclip icon is the way to go, but you can also decide to grab a file from your Drive account, so that you can attach it to the message. To do this just click on the icon at the right of the paperclip; it looks like a triangular shape, and this is the icon for Drive. When you click it you get a pop-up window with all your documents.
Pick the one you need, attach it and send the fax! You can also add a cover sheet on the Message field.
This is our preferred method for faxing with Drive because it’s easy to use on any platform. And you can find more information about it on our homepage so even if you are having a problem with your service’s mobile fax app, you can just sign into Gmail and take care of things pretty quickly.
Link Google Drive to Your Fax Service
With a fax service you not only have the option of faxing directly from Gmail, but you can also head to your online account dashboard to send a fax. Faxing this way gives you full access to the features available for email fax users, including popular ones such as fax scheduling and detailed fax reports.
In this area, you’ll also have access to additional settings that will give you more control over your documents.
To send a document from Drive, first sign into your account, and navigate to the setup window. It varies from service to service but for the purposes of this guide, we’ll show you how it’s done using RingCentral Fax, through FaxOut.
You’ll set up the way you integrate cloud services. So after you enter the service, click on FaxOut and you are taken to a screen where you can link your cloud storage account. You’ll find that besides Drive, you may integrate a Drop or DropBox account.
Click on Drive and a pop-up window will appear so you can authorize linking both accounts. Once it’s done, navigate to the “Send a Fax” section, and in the “Attach” field click on Drive. Finally, pick the document you want to fax.
This alternative is great because you have more options than just Drive, but if you do not use them, it’s better to stick to the first method and only log in to your fax account when you want to use an advanced feature.
Use a Google Drive Add-On to Fax
This second alternative involves using what is known as an add-on, which is nothing but a little online app that can be integrated into Google Drive.
People use add-ons extensively to add features to basic services, in this case, the ability to fax a document just by using the sidebar on the document editing screen. The most-known add-on provider for these cases is Hellofax, but there are other companies with similar solutions.
To use this method you first need to sign up for a service. One that provides the add-on either by using a paid account or a free trial. Then you need to access your set-up screen and link your fax account to your Drive account.
You’ll notice that you’ll have faxing options on the sidebar or when clicking on your document options. If you are accustomed to working in Google Docs, this is a rapid method of faxing. Just navigate the menu, fill all the necessary fields and that’s it!
This third method is quick and easy to use, I would recommend it to people who prefer using Docs to edit documents. The downside of this approach is that you don’t have many alternatives regarding services, and besides Drive integration, you only get basic capabilities to send online fax and none of the advanced features found in email to fax services.
Pros of Faxing Documents Stored in Google Drive
Google Drive faxing is somewhat new, so many people are still asking themselves, why should they use this type of technology. Here are some strong reasons: