MS Word

Find Where Word Hides the Fax Command

The Problem:

Okay, so how do I send a fax? It's not as if Word has a "Fax This Document" command anywhereleastways, not that I can see. I've even looked in the Customize dialog box.

The Solution:

About 99 out of 100 people would agree with you that Word's faxing could be easier. Windows itself, and most Windows applications, considers sending a fax to be a form of printing: instead of sending the document to a printer, you send it to a fax, which "prints" it across the wires to the recipient's fax. Intuitive, huh? Better yet, the fax components may not be installed on your PC yet, so you may need to set them up.

Here's how to fix faxing:

  1. Make sure there's a fax modem installed on your PC. If your PC is halfway modern, it'll have one already. Otherwise, plug in a USB or serial-port fax modem (or a PC Card fax modem if you're using a notebook PC).

  2. Install Fax Services if they're not already installed. Insert your Windows XP CD in an optical drive, choose Start » Control Panel » Printers and Other Hardware » Printers and Faxes, and click the Set Up Faxing link in the Printer Tasks list. Follow the resulting wizard to install Fax Services.

  3. Choose Start » All Programs » Accessories » Communications » Fax » Fax Console to run the Fax Configuration Wizard. Work your way through the wizard, specifying your name, fax number, phone numbers, email address, and so on, and designating the fax device to use (your fax modem). Choose whether to receive faxes and (if so) whether to store incoming faxes, print them, or send them to an email address.

  4. In Word, open the document that you want to fax, choose File » Print, and select the appropriate fax item in the Name drop-down list. If you need to change the resolution of the fax, click the Properties button and work on the Fax Performs tab of the Fax Properties dialog box. Otherwise, verify that the page range, number of copies, and so on are correct, and then click the OK button. Word "prints" the document to the fax and starts the Send Fax Wizard, which walks you through the process of specifying the recipient, adding a cover page (if needed), and deciding when to send the fax and what priority to assign it. You can preview the fax to double-check that it is correct before you transmit it.

If you don't have a fax modem, one alternative is to use an Internet fax service such as eFax ( or (