About fax services

With Microsoft Office 2003, faxing is now as easy as sending an e-mail message. From your Office program, you can connect directly to a fax service provider that will send the fax for you. You can use fax services with Microsoft Office Excel 2003, Microsoft Office PowerPoint 2003, Microsoft Office Word 2003, Microsoft Office Outlook 2003, and the Microsoft Office Document Imaging Program (MODI). You must have Outlook and Word installed on your computer to use fax services.

How fax services work

When you choose to send a fax from an Office program, Outlook and Word provide you with the interface to send your fax. The document you want to fax is automatically converted to a TIFF image file and attached to an e-mail message. The body of your e-mail message is the area provided for your cover sheet, and the required fields are for the recipient(s) name, fax number, and subject. You can type information in these fields, or you can select a contact from your address book. Country codes in your address book must begin with a plus sign (+); for example, +61/555-1212. It is recommended that you use a cover sheet and complete the To and Subject fields to ensure that your fax reaches the intended recipient.

Before sending your fax, you can preview it using MODI. Any file type that can be printed to the Microsoft Office Document Image Writer is supported. After you send your fax, you receive an e-mail confirmation from your fax provider indicating whether your fax was delivered successfully.


  • Headers and footers are not supported in otherwise blank cover sheets. If, for example, your cover sheet contains text or logos in a header or footer, but the body of your document is blank, the text or logos will not appear in your e-mail message or your fax.
  • If you choose not to use fax services, you can send a fax by using a fax modem.

Advantages of using fax services

Sending faxes through a fax service offers time-saving benefits. The following features are provided to enhance your faxing experience:

  • Mixed recipient    You can send your fax to an e-mail address or a standard fax machine, and to as many recipients as you want.
  • Multiple documents     You can attach multiple documents that include a large number of pages and send the fax as one package.
  • Electronic faxes    Some fax providers offer a fax phone number for your use, which enables the delivery of the fax to your Inbox as a TIFF attachment. When you receive a fax, you can view, print, or add comments to it. The MODI program opens the online fax and provides the editing capabilities. You can also send the fax to someone else or back to the original party.
  • Offline scenario    You can compose a fax and send it when disconnected. Similar to e-mail, the fax will be stored in the Outbox and will be sent when you connect to the network.
  • Archives    Sent faxes are stored in the Outlook Sent Items folder or in a place specified by Outlook rules.

Fax service signup considerations

When you sign up for a fax service, you can specify one provider for outbound faxes and multiple providers for inbound faxes. Different fax service providers offer different packages to support your faxing needs. To use a fax service on multiple computers, you may need to activate your fax account on each computer by downloading a registration package from your provider's Web site. Account management information is also stored there.

Applies to:
Excel 2003, Outlook 2003, PowerPoint 2003, Word 2003