written by: Tricia Goss•edited by: Bill Fulks•updated: 5/24/2010
You upgraded your operating system and are wondering, "What are the fax capabilities of Windows 7?" Learn how to use Windows Fax and Scan in Windows 7.
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What Is Windows Fax and Scan?
If you are wondering, "What are the fax capabilities of Windows 7?" then wonder no more. Like other versions of Windows before it, Windows 7 features Windows Fax and Scan, which is an integrated program that provides both faxing and scanning capabilities. In order to take advantage of the fax capabilities of Windows 7, you will need either a fax modem or access to a fax server. Once you have initially set up Windows Fax and Scan, you can send and receive faxes directly from your desktop - no special fax machine is necessary.
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How to Set Up Faxing in Windows 7
Before you try to check out the fax capabilities of Windows 7, make sure you have the proper hardware or your faxes won't be going anywhere. If you think you may have a fax modem built into your computer, you may want to look at your modem's properties. Click Start, type System Information into the Search box and press Enter. Expand Components and click on Modem to see what type of modem is installed on your computer. If you have an external modem, it may not be listed. If you are on a network and have access to a fax server, you may use this to set up Windows 7 Fax and Scan as well. Make sure you have the address for the fax server before you begin.
To set up the fax capabilities of Windows 7, click Start and type fax into the Search box. Select Windows Fax and Scan under Programs. Click Fax at the bottom left side of the pane and select New Fax on the toolbar. The Fax Setup Wizard begins.
Click Connect to a Fax Modem to proceed with setup if you have a fax modem installed on your computer. If this option is grayed out, you either do not have a fax modem installed or Windows is not recognizing that you do, which may mean that it is not working correctly. If you are able to select this option, simply follow the steps in the wizard to complete the setup process.
Click Connect to a Fax Server on My Network if you want to use a fax server to access the fax capabilities of Windows 7. Type in the location of the server and click Next. Enter a name for the server and click Done. If you have any problems accessing the fax server, your system administrator may need to grant you permission first.
Go to the next page to learn how to send, receive, preview and save faxes in Windows 7.
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Learn how to create custom cover letters, save copies of incoming faxes and more about the overall fax capabilities of Windows 7.
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How to Send or Receive a Fax in Windows 7
Once you have enabled the fax capabilities of Windows 7, you can begin sending and receiving faxes directly from your computer. To send a fax, open Windows Fax and Scan and click New Fax on the toolbar. Enter the phone number to which you want to send a fax in the To box, or click the To button to locate a contact from your address book and use the fax number listed there. Type a subject into the Subject field. Click the Cover Page button to select a standard cover page and type your message into the body of the fax form. You can also cover letter documents and other files by clicking the Attachment button on the toolbar or going to the Insert menu and selecting an option. Click Send when you are ready to send your fax.
There are two ways that you can receive faxes in Windows Fax and Scan. To receive faxes automatically, start Windows Fax and Scan. Go to the Tools menu and click Fax Settings. Go to the General tab and select Allow Device to Receive Fax Calls under Send/Receive Options. Click Automatically Answer and select the number of times you want to the phone to ring before the modem picks up to receive the fax. Click OK to save your settings.
The default setting is for you to manually answer fax calls. If you leave this setting enabled, Windows will notify you of any incoming faxes. To accept a fax manually, start Windows Fax and Scan. Click Receive a Fax Now on the toolbar. Windows displays the progress of the incoming fax.
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You can opt to save a copy of every fax you receive in Windows 7. To do so, start Windows Fax and Scan. Go to the Tools menu and click Fax Setting. Go to the General tab and click the More Options button. Select the Save a Copy check box under When a Fax is Received. Click the Browse button and select the location in which you want to save fax copies. Click OK twice to apply this setting.
You can preview a fax that you received without opening it. To do so, simply click on the fax in your Windows Fax and Scan inbox. The first page of the fax is displayed in the preview pane. To open a fax, double-click it. Click any inbox heading to sort the inbox by that column. If you would like to create a custom cover page, go to the Tools menu and click Cover Pages. Click the New button on the Fax Cover Pages dialog and create a new cover letter. Click Save, name the cover page and close the window. The new cover page is now available for you to use.
Take a look at some of the other menu options and toolbar buttons to learn even more answers to the question, "What are the fax capabilities of Windows 7?"