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Windows Fax Software - Simple Fax Software within Windows

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With a computer, faxing a message can be just as simple as sending an e-mail — the destination is, instead of an email address, a phone number attached to a fax machine. And the message you fax can be as many pages as you want. If you were using an old-fashioned fax machine, pages would have to feed through it one by one — that is simply not so when you use a computer to fax.

One possibility, of course, is a multi-function printer that includes a fax function. Such a printer could be attached to any version of Windows listed as compatible with the printer. But then, the next question is, what about specific fax software for Windows? You can buy a software package whose entire purpose is to allow you to fax from windows. There are two alternatives within the OS, each of which depend on what version of Windows you are running.

The first alternative is embedded within the Home and Professional versions of Windows XP, which both contain a program called Fax Configuration Wizard that will set up a software program to receive and send faxes. The catch is that this program is not installed on your computer when you install or upgrade Windows XP — you have to find it, and install it yourself.

Before we get to the install, let’s take a look at the three physical requirements for your computer set-up:
1) You must have a dial-up modem installed on your computer. If you’re not sure, look for a telephone jack on the backside of your computer.
2) You must have a working phone jack with a normal working phone line — not DSL, not Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP), not a cable modem.
3) You must connect a phone cord between the wall’s telephone jack and the telephone jack on the backside of your computer.

To install the Windows XP fax software, open the Control Panel, and choose Add or Remove Programs, then Add/Remove Windows Components. In the Components list, click on the check box for Fax Services. Then click the OK, Next or Continue buttons until the software is fully installed

To send a fax from a program in Windows XP, select Print from the File menu — there will be a fax icon next to your printer icon. Select the fax icon, and the Fax Configuration Wizard dialog will appear. The Wizard will guide you through a cover-letter form, ask for a phone number to use, and then send both the cover letter and the pages you want to send as a fax.

To receive a fax in Windows XP, you leave the virtual fax machine on, ready to receive:
1) From the Start menu. choose All Programs.
2) Select the Accessories folder, then the Communications folder, then select the Fax folder.
3) Select the Fax Console item.
4) In the Fax Console window, from the Tools menu, select Fax Monitor.

The Fax Monitor will remain open waiting to receive a fax. However, you must leave your computer on, and must have a phone cord plugged from your phone outlet to your computer’s phone jack. When the Fax Monitor receives a fax, a little icon will appear on the taskbar near the clock, with a message to alert you.

The second alternative, called Fax and Scan, is much easier to set up, but will work only with the Enterprise, Business, and Ultimate editions of Windows Vista. Again, the computer must be attached to a working phone line.

To find the Fax and Scan software in Windows Vista, from the Start menu, select Programs, then the Accessories folder — the Fax and Scan software will be in the list. Double-click on the name to start the software and click New Fax to start the process. An empty text box appears for a cover sheet, after which the document can be attached and sent, to one or several recipients. Fax and Scan can send multiple pages, and even images. As long as the Vista machine is connected to a live phone jack via a phone cord, the Fax and Scan software, set to Listen mode, will be able to receive a fax.

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