How to Send and Receive Faxes in Mac OS Panther

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How to Send and Receive Faxes in Mac OS Panther
(Sean Gallup/Getty Images News/Getty Images)

You don't need third-party application to send or receive faxes with your Mac. Included in Mac OS Panther 10.3 is the ability to do both, and it is accomplished with the traditional Mac ease of use. A simple "Fax" button is present in every "Print" dialog box, so if you're working on a document that you can print, you can fax it, too.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Phone cord
  • Phone line splitter (optional)

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  1. 1

    Use a standard phone cord (with RJ11 male connectors at both ends) to connect your Mac to a phone jack of a dedicated line or a double-jack line splitter to share a line.

  2. 2

    Open "Print & Fax" from the "System Preferences" application (available in the "Dock" or "Apple" menu).

  3. 3

    Check the "Receive Faxes" option in the resulting dialog box if you wish to receive faxes as well as send them.

  4. 4

    Enter your dedicated or shared phone number in the appropriate field.

  5. 5

    Set fax receiving preferences. You can set the number of rings before it answers, and also choose to have the fax saved to a particular folder, forwarded to an email address and print to any available printer. You can opt for one, two or all of these functions to occur when receiving a fax.

  1. 1

    Save a final version of the document that you are working and wish to fax.

  2. 2

    Issue a standard "Print" command (Command-P on the keyboard, or "Print" from the "File" menu).

  3. 3

    Click on "Fax" in the resulting "Print" dialog box.

  4. 4

    Enter the destination fax number in the first field of the resulting "Fax" dialog box, or click on the "Address Book" icon to select an entry from it.

  5. 5

    Choose your other sending options in the appropriate fields, such as entering a "Subject" or a "Dialing Prefix" (such as *70 to disable call waiting).

  6. 6

    Make your final selections with the two drop-down menus, "Modem" and "Presets," and the optional "Cover Page" text window. The "Modem" menu lets you select any available internal or external modem, while the "Presets" menu allows you to save special setups (or just use "Standard" for default settings).

  7. 7

    Check the drop-down menu under "Presets" to change or accept settings such as "Page Setup" or "Layout." The name of your email application will show up in this list to give you options on how to format an email for faxing.

  8. 8

    Click "Preview" to see how you fax will look, or simply click "Fax" at bottom right to send the fax.

  9. 9

    Allow the system to answer incoming faxes, and store and/or redirect them as you have requested in your setup procedure.

Tips and warnings

  • To use a single line for both your phone and computer modem, buy a low-cost double phone jack. Most major retailers and electronics stores will carry them.
  • The fax function is tightly integrated with the system, as are all Mac OS Panther applications, so you can select a fax destination from your "Address Book" entries.
  • Make sure to plug the phone cord's RJ11 jack into the Mac's modem port, not the similar (but slightly larger) Ethernet port.
  • You cannot send faxes over a VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) line such as Vonage or Lingo. You need a standard phone line.
  • If you want your Mac to wake from sleep to answer an incoming fax, you need to go to the "Options" tab of the "Energy Saver" settings (in "System Preferences") and select "Wake when the modem detects a ring."

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