Not everybody uses fax these days, so it's possible you don't have access to a fax machine. But what if somebody does request a document by fax? There's no need to worry. Follow the simple instructions below for how to send a fax from Gmail and your document will be on its way in no time.

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No Machine, No Hassle: How to Send a Fax From Gmail

Sign Up for an Online Fax Provider

Sending a fax with Gmail is very simple, but the capability isn't provided by Google. As well as having a Gmail account, you will need to sign up for an online fax provider. There are plenty to choose from, suitable for both the occasional document and more regular use, so take a look at all the options to find one that's right for you.

The providers do ask for a fee to provide the service, but some do offer a free trial so you can try it out before committing to your choice. The fee includes your own fax number, so you can receive documents as well as send them. You can choose between a local number and a toll-free number, so you can decide which is more suitable for your needs.

Get the Correct Fax Address

When you're sending a fax using Gmail, you will need the recipient's fax number and the domain name of your fax provider. They will let you know what this is when you join or you can find it on their website.

The fax address looks just like an email address and is made up of a fax number and a domain name. For example, if you need to send the fax to 800-555-1234 and your fax provider's domain name is examplefaxname, then the fax address will be 8005551234@examplefaxname.com.

Write Your Fax in Gmail

If you can write and send an email from your Gmail account, then you can easily send a fax. Once you have your fax address ready, it's just as simple as sending an email. Press the compose button in Gmail and enter the fax address in the address bar at the top.

If you want your fax to have a title and a cover letter, then these are simply typed in the correct boxes. Put the title of your fax in the subject bar and the main text of your cover letter where you would usually type the body of your email. The title and main text will print out of the recipient's machine first, explaining what they are receiving. Your main fax document will follow next. 

Attach Your Document

The main document that you need to fax can be added as an attachment. Most file types are supported, but the most popular is PDF. You can attach multiple files to be sent all in one fax.

Select the paperclip icon within the composer window of Gmail. This will bring up your file manager and you can navigate to the desired file. You can also drag and drop the file if you find that easier. Your attachment will now be visible within the composer window and will print from the recipient's fax machine after your cover letter.

Send Your Fax

Now you're ready to send your fax. Double check you have the address correct and that you've attached all of the documents you need to send.

Simply hit the send button and your fax is on its way! You should receive a confirmation message from your online fax provider shortly afterward to let you know it was sent successfully.

Receive a Fax

It's just as simple to receive a fax through Gmail as it is to send one. Your fax provider will have given you a fax number when you signed up. You just need to give this number to the sender, exactly as you would if you were using a fax machine.

When you sign up for your online fax provider, be sure to register using your Gmail email address. The online provider will then receive the fax electronically and forward it to your Gmail address. You will receive it in your inbox just like an email.

Gmail is a very simple alternative to a fax machine, saving you money on equipment and paper and also saving you space on your desk. All you need is a Gmail account and an online fax provider. Test Drive Our #1 Recommended Choice and Fax Free for 30 Days!