Learning how to fax a PDF file is incredibly easy and affordable. Modern offices are benefiting from switching to online fax because you don’t need to print a PDF and then run it through a fax machine. In addition, some online fax services let you to receive fax as PDF through a virtual line, so you can read it on your computer or device’s screen.
- To fax a PDF from your computer you can use an online fax service or fax software that allows you to fax over your Internet connection, via email or through a web form.
- The easiest way for faxing a PDF document is through your email, it only takes a few seconds to set up and send your file. The conversion process is 100% automatic.
- You can receive fax to PDF with an online fax service. Your virtual fax number grabs incoming faxes, converting them to PDF.
- Online fax services offer free trial accounts so you can learn how to fax a PDF for free.
Ways to Fax a PDF
As stated, the PDF format is the most popular in today’s world and logically, it is the most commonly used to send and receive faxes. But... how do you actually fax a PDF document? Can you convert your fax to PDF and vice-versa? Can it be done for free? Let’s answer to all these questions.
We have three main alternatives for faxing a PDF file from your computer. You can:
- Use an online fax service
- Use a special fax software (found in newer fax machine models)
- Using a fax machine connected to your device
Right off the bat, the first way to transmit a PDF via fax, digital faxing, is without a doubt the easiest one (as it doesn’t even require a fax machine), but let’s give the rest a chance and see what each method brings to the table.
How to Fax a PDF via Email
There is one more thing working to reduce the overall paper waste. Its called email faxing. A few years back, the only way you could send a pdf is to print it and send it over the fax machine, but now the good old traditional way has been replaced by a more modern concept – online faxing.
Basically, all you have to do here is sign up for an online fax provider. They will give you the opportunity to link your email account to a fax number and be able to fax a PDF directly from it just by entering the fax number followed by @ and the domain of your fax service on the TO field. For example this is what it would look like if you were using eFax: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Then, you attach the PDF to your email message. Just upload it as it is. Your chosen fax service will automatically convert your PDF to a fax image that can be printed on any legacy fax machine.
If you need to add a cover page, you can enter the text on the Subject field or in the body. The cover page will precede your fax.
Once you press Send, the fax will be sent from your computer without the need of a phone line. After that you will receive a confirmation message on your inbox.
It’s a pretty straightforward process. If you need to fax a PDF immediately, we’d recommend using a service like RingCentral Fax or eFax. They have a free trial period and everything gets automatically set up for you in less than a few minutes. Your free account allows you to send fax from your email client just as you’d send a regular email. The PDF document goes as an attachment to your emails.
Remember, the virtual fax service will convert PDF to fax and send it without the need of complicated additional steps.
One of the main advantages of using this method to send a fax is that you can fax a PDF from your phone, pretty much from anywhere as long as you have Internet connection. Some of the services, included the ones we recommend, come with their own apps that you can use to fax PDFs or images.
How to Fax PDFs Using Fax Software
All Windows software versions have built-in fax programs, unlike Mac OS X. On Windows 7,8, and 10 you can use the “Fax and Scan” application which is pre-installed on your computer. It basically turns your PC into a fax machine.
There are a few extra things that you’d need to finalize the process, though. Those are a fax modem (either on your computer or an external one) and an active landline. The latter is important as you can’t really use the internet connection of the computer with the fax software. That is perhaps the biggest downside of this method. VoIP lines are out of the equation as well, as fax data won’t go well through them.
When faxing, you will realize that Windows’ “Fax and Scan” is so close to Outlook that you basically wouldn’t require any guidance if you’re used to the mail client. The only major difference is that you can fill the information for the cover pages. Once you send it, the computer will gather up the information and transform it into a fax, which will then be sent through the landline to your recipient’s machine or online directory.
This method is in some ways similar to our next one:
Faxing PDFs Using a Proxy Fax Machine
Basically, what you’ll be doing here is just attach the fax machine (or multi-purpose printer) to your PC and it will start acting as a proxy fax machine. You will still need a landline but in this case, you won’t need a modem.
Different fax machines connect to your computer through various ways – some with USB, others with Bluetooth. Some might even connect to your PC over a shared internet connection (shared WiFi, for example).
You can also use your phone in some instances, connecting it to a fax machine wirelessly like that.
Once your computer is connected, simple open the fax program and load the PDF document you want to send as a fax transmission. Another method is to go through the print menu at a Word document for example (Ctrl + P). If your fax machine is connected properly, you will be able to select it from the drop-down menu on the printing screen.
These were the more “modern” ways of faxing a document with a pdf file format. Let’s take a few moments to honorably mention the old school way, which still works for PDFs, as a matter of fact.
Send PDFs Using a Traditional Fax Machine
If there is a fax machine near you, and you don’t see a 10-person line for it, chances are that this method will be as quick as the rest.
If you aren’t a fan of doing things online or through dedicated computer programs, this might be the perfect method for you. Just print out your PDF file and go ahead and put it into the fax machine, enter your recipient’s number and you’re done.
We must mention one tiny downside, though. You might experience a slight PDF quality degradation using this method. Printing the document and then copying it in the fax machine are two processes that will both slightly take some quality off of your final product. This means that anything that demands a high level of quality kind of requires the previous three methods.
How to Receive a Fax as PDF
What many people forget to explain is that when using any way to fax explained here (both online and when connecting to a fax machine) you will have the opportunity to reverse the whole process. This means that any fax that is sent to your number can go directly to your PC, where it will ultimately be transformed into a PDF.
Once you have your number to send faxes with an online fax number, you will also be able to use it to receive faxes. This number will grab incoming fax transmissions and will convert them to a PDF file before being sent to your email address. This number allows you to fax from anywhere and is active at all times.
If your service has an app you can also read incoming faxes on your Android mobile device or iPhone. Simply open the app, log in using your username and password, and check for new messages in your account, the PDF files that have arrived can be stored on your phone or tablet.
Why You Should Receive Fax as PDF
When you receive faxes on Gmail, they arrive as digital documents that you can open in your computer, and the preferred format for this purpose is the Portable Document Format, known all around the World as simply the PDF.
Developed by Adobe, this file format has been adopted by millions of offices on the World and fax services prefer it over other file types given its versatility, is easy to use and the amount of benefits it offers for all types of users.
In this article you’ll learn what makes the PDF so special. Please, read on!
Readable on Any Device
PDFs are readable practically everywhere. It doesn’t matter what device, computer, operating system or web browser you are using. There’s always a way to read a PDF.
Besides the Adobe Acrobat, the official free PDF reader, there are plenty of alternatives both free and paid to read these types of files. Every web browser also come with Acrobat plugins that let you read PDFs right on your browser screen without having to download any file.
The Acrobat Reader is also available for Android phones and iPhones. Though, if you are using an iOS device you can simply import PDFs to Books.
The transmission of fax to PDF is already an encrypted and secure process thanks to powerful fax server technology, but you can add more security measures on your PDFs.
You can set a password to open the document or add a watermark to prevent other people copying the content.
If your a PDF needs to be signed, you can easily add a digital version of your signature using one of the may online web tools for the job. A digital signature can be easily added to any document without having to download additional software.
You Can Find It Everywhere
Everybody uses PDFs these days, to the point that businesses have adopted it a standard way of sharing documents digitally. If you have a PDF you can easily share it and rest assured the other person has a way of accessing it.
Doesn’t need to be Updated
If you saved a PDF file in your computer some years ago, I’m sure you’ll be able to read it on any PDF reader. Why? Because this is a file format that remain consistent despite the passing of time. Other types of files vary according to the software version you use it to create it/read it. Other programs even change the filename. If you have saved these documents you may have to update it to the newest versions, and chances are it won’t look the same.
If you want to avoid spending several hours just updating all your files, using PDFs is the way to go.
Helps the Environment
The goal of PDFs was to make offices paperless. Although there’s still more to be done, no one can deny these files have played an important role in reducing the amount of paper consumption in workplaces. We are living in critical times for the Earth as CO2 production keeps increasing all over the World. Do you know how much wood you need to produce a single box of paper? HINT: It’s a lot!
Receiving faxes as PDF will let you choose to print only what is needed. As an extra benefit it will help you save money too. Money that won’t be spent on a dedicated fax line, a fax machine and office supplies.
PDF documents are perhaps the easiest files you can fax. You can do that through online faxing services, or through your computer when connecting it to a fax machine or a modem and a landline.
Even printing a PDF and then faxing it is still considered relatively easy if you got access to a fax machine nearby. The great thing about these methods is that you don’t even need a fax number to be able to send your documents. In case you want to receive faxes through the same channels, though, you’d need one.
The beauty of online fax providers is that they automatically give you a fax number (most commonly toll-free) so that you can be faxing a PDF attachment at the same place you sent them from. This has helped businesses reduce their electricity bills, their paper costs and be more time-efficient, no need to wait in order to make the next big step!