How to Send a Document to a Fax Number

By Leyla Norman

Updated September 26, 2017

Fax machines are not the only way to send faxes.
i fax image by Attila Toro from

There are multiple ways to send faxes today. Computer fax applications can make sending a fax easier and faster than the traditional fax machine. However, fax machines are still in wide use today, both on the receiving and sending end. You can also use online fax services to send faxes. Some of these services are free. Since there are several options to send a document to a fax machine, choose the one that is most efficient and practical for your situation.

Send by Fax Machine

Print out the page or pages that you want to send. Include a cover letter if you are sending a professional document with several pages.

Put the page in the printer according to the fax machine's specifications. A diagram is usually printed on the paper tray of the machine that shows how to position the paper. You will need to either put the pages face up or face down on the paper tray. The fax machine may feed paper from the back of the stack of papers if you have more than one, or it may send the top paper first. Read the owner's manual to find out the machine's specifications. Whether the first page is printed first or last does not necessarily matter, other than the fact that the page order, including your cover page, will be reversed on the receiving end.

Enter the recipient's fax number. Dial the area code first if you are sending the fax to a local location that requires a ten digit fax number. Make sure to enter "1" before the area code if the fax is to be sent long distance. If you are sending to another country, include the country code and city code, if necessary. If you need to dial a number to reach an outside phone line from an office building, press that number first.

Press the "Send" button on the fax machine. You should hear a dial tone and then the fax number being dialed by the fax machine. You will hear a modem tone when the fax machine is connecting with the receiving fax machine.

Send by Computer

Install a fax modem on your land-based phone line. This is important if you do not plan to use an Internet-based fax service.

Scan the document you want to fax if you do not have a copy of it saved on your computer. You can also send a fax from an open document in a word processor.

Open the file you want to fax. Select "Print" from your open file, and choose "Fax" as your printer. This will open the fax wizard. Follow the prompts to fill in the fax number and add a cover page to your fax. Send the fax according to the wizard's instructions.

Utilize online fax services as another option for using your computer to send faxes. FreeFaxButton, FreePopFax and eFax Free are a few available online faxing services that allow you to fax documents for free.

Items you will need

  • Fax machine (if not using a computer)

  • Scanner (if document is not saved on your computer)

  • Fax modem (for computer-sent faxes)

  • Land-based phone line (if using computer fax software or fax machine)