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Throw out your fax

Windows XP has a fax function could save you numerous steps.

Do you have Windows XP? Does it have a modem? Yes? Then, you don’t need a fax machine.

XP offers a paperless fax function. Although it isn’t installed by default, you can add it easily enough, and you will be able to send and receive faxes without wasting paper on junk faxes. Even if the fax is one you want to receive, you don’t really need to print it out to read it. But, if you do prefer that all incoming faxes are printed, you can set the fax console to route each incoming document to your printer.

And aren’t you tired of creating a Word document or an Excel spreadsheet and then having to print it out before you can fax it? Well, guess what–you can fax those documents directly from your hard drive without generating more wastepaper if you use the built-in XP fax program.

Here’s how to get started: You have to add the Fax Service as a Windows component, so go to the Control Panel, then to “Add/Remove Windows Components” and select Fax Services. That will start a wizard to guide you through the rest of the setup.

An alternate method is to open the Printers and Faxes folder from your Start menu and to select Set Up Faxing from the Printer Tasks section.

Once you’ve installed Fax Services, you’ll want to configure it to identify your documents, add a cover page and so on, just as you would with a normal fax machine. First, click Start, then select All Programs, Accessories and Communications. Under Communications you’ll choose Fax and then Fax Console. This is where you’ll configure your Fax Services.

The default setting only allows users to send faxes, by the way, so, you’ll want to mark the Enable Receive checkbox at this point.

You will identify your modem as the device to use for transmission and reception of data. You’ll also indicate where your documents will be stored and whether or not you want incoming faxes to be printed upon receipt.

You’ve got fax

To fax a document from your hard drive, you will want to open it with the proper software then select Print and choose Fax from the drop down menu. A wizard will pop up that allows you to select a fax number from your Windows Address Book.

You can even use Outlook to fax a document; you’ll need to add the Fax Transport Service as an e-mail account first, though. That way you can send info from your inbox to an associate without e-mail access. To do this, go to Tools, E-Mail Accounts, Add a New E-Mail Account, and Next, then select Server Type then Additional Server Types, choose Fax Mail Transport then Next and you’ll be ready to go.

From that point on, when you wish to fax from Outlook you’ll simply choose New, Accounts and Fax Mail Transport to begin your fax.

Voila! Instant fax machine.

incoming!

You will have decided how to handle incoming faxes during configuration. Again, this is similar to a standalone fax. You can decide how many rings to allow and what to do with the fax upon receipt. If you don’t have the page printed you’ll need to read it in the Fax Console. Like a fax on the printed page, you will not be able to edit the text of your fax. It will be in a photographic format.

If you prefer to use a third-party appliance to get the job done there are a few companies that offer specialty software. There’s Mightyfax >www.rkssoftware.comwww.symantec.com/ winfax

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