How to Fax Documents Using Windows XP by Otis Cooper

It would be awesome if we all had our own fax machine. We could fax our resume to that new employer to be reviewed right away. Or we may want to receive that fax from our landlord so we can move into that apartment tomorrow.

Having a fax machine in your home could save you time in completing such tasks as getting a new job. Now what if you can fax documents without having to cough up big bucks to purchase a fax machine.

If you have a computer with Windows XP, internet access, and a printer, you already have a fax machine. One of the optional components in your Windows XP software package is the Fax Services Component. This package allow you to send and receive faxes through your computer using regular dial-up internet access.

To use this Fax Service you will need 3.7 megabytes of free hard drive space, a dial-up modem and your Windows XP Install CD. Since the transmission is sent through your phone line, a cable modem will not work.

The first thing you must do to use the Fax Service is to install it on your PC. This service is not installed when Windows XP was first installed. Perform the following steps to install this software.

Insert your installation CD in your CD or DVD drive and the welcome to Microsoft Windows XP will open. If it doesn't open, open My Computer and double-click the CD or DVD drive. Click install Optional Windows Components.

A menu will open that lists all optional Windows XP components. Now click the box in front of Fax Services and then click next. Watch the installation status bar and once its installed click the finish button and exit. You will need to restart your PC to finish the process.

You can now configure the Fax Console by adding your contact information, the modem you will use, and where you want the system to save a copy of each fax. To open the application, click on Start, choose All Programs, Accessories, Communications, Fax, the Fax Console, and click next once it opens. You can now type in the Sender information.

The next step in setting up the Console is to enter your TSD or Transmitting Subscriber Identification data. This allow the recipient's computer to identify your computer as the sender of the Fax. The TSD contains your Fax number or your fax number and name.

You're getting closer to finishing the Console. The CSID is next to be added. Your CSID is your Called Subscriber Identification and it can be the same data that's in the TSD. When you receive a Fax, your CSID will appear on the sender's confirmation page.

Now you must choose the routing options for the Faxes you receive. You may want the Faxes saved and printed, or just save. You now choose the printer you want the Fax to be printed on and this will be your default printer.

Click next to reach the last Console Configuration step. Here you verify the data you entered. A Configuration summary will appear for you to verify. Once you are satisfied that all information is correct, click finish.

After setting up the Fax Console and completed the Configuration setup, you're computer is now ready to send and receive Faxes just as any Fax Machine would. The Console pops open automatically and looks similar to the Outlook Express Console.

Now select the device to sending and receiving Faxes. The modem will appear in the drop-down menu. All you need to do is highlight it and check both send and receive. Here is how you receive Faxes using Windows XP.

There are two options to receiving a Fax, Manual and auto answer. Checking the auto mode allows the computer to answer the phone when a Fax is received. To receive a Fax automatically, leave the modem and the computer on and the PC will save received Faxes in the inbox of the Fax Console.

If you have one phone line to use for your fax and voice calls, its good to receive your Faxes manually. You will need to be at your computer to receive a fax. When the phone rings, you will not know if its a voice or fax call until you answer it.

A way around this is to call the sender of the fax and ask them to call ahead to inform you the fax is on its way. Then you can hang up, connect your modem to the phone line and wait. When the call comes through, a dialog box appears and will allow you to receive the Fax.

To send a fax you can use the print option to Fax documents from any Windows application. Open the document from any Windows program such as Microsoft Word, select the printer, and click okay.

The Fax Wizard will now take you by the hand and help you create a cover page and sending your Fax. After this is done, enter your recipient's data. When entering their Fax number, type it in a format such as +1 (123) 456-7890.

The Fax Console is linked to your Outlook Express Address Book where recipients names can be stored there. Your recipient's name will appear in the Recipient Information Window.

You can now format the cover page by choosing ready made templates or create your own. And now you can schedule when your Fax can be sent. To send it now, just click Now. Or you set a time in advance but be sure to leave the modem and computer on when the time comes.

Click next where you can preview the cover page and Fax preview. If all is well, click finish and the Fax Monitor will appear and show you the status of your Fax. You will see a saved copy of your Fax if you did not send it now.

By following these steps, you can send a Fax from any Windows application. Such application include Microsoft Word, or Microsoft Excel. You can use a scanner with the Fax Service to made it more versatile. Go over to their web site at Microsoft Help and Support to learn how to use a scanner with the Fax Service.

If you're considering using the Fax Service to send faxes, its a great time while reading this article to grab your Windows XP CD, install the software and get going. There will be a lot more help in the software and you'll see just how easy it is to fax with Windows XP.

Copyright 2006 Otis Cooper. Otis F. Cooper is solely dedicated to boosting the knowledge and confidence of every computer user. Sign up to receive his informative articles every month and learn PC Repair absolutely free. Sign up now at

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