The old way of sending faxes is to print the documents and a cover page, retrieve them from the printer, go to the fax machine, insert the documents, and then send them. The time wasted during this process can range between three and ten minutes. Outlook 2003 simplifies this process because you can now send the fax directly from your PC.

Setting up the Microsoft Fax console

To send a fax straight from your PC, you must have the Microsoft Fax console installed. To see if the console is installed, go to the Windows Control Panel and the Printer and Faxes folder, and look for the Fax icon. If you see the Fax icon, then you're all set up to send faxes.

If the Fax icon doesn't appear, then follow these steps:

1. Click the Windows Start Button and choose Control Panel, Printers And Fax.

The Printers And Fax devices list appears.

2. Select the Add A Fax command in the Printers Tasks.

3. Follow the Fax Wizard until the end of the setup.

Sending a fax

With your Fax console device installed, you don't have to print any paper and walk to the fax machine, losing time and energy in the process. If you're working with a notebook computer, the Fax console helps you send a fax from your hotel room or any other place. Just connect the phone line and send.

To send a fax:

1. Open the document you want to fax.

2. Choose File, Print.

The Print dialog box opens.

3. From the Name drop-down list, select FAX.

If the fax driver isn't shown, see the preceding section "Setting up the Microsoft Fax console."

4. Click OK.

The Send Fax Wizard appears.

5. Click the Address Book button.

The Outlook Address Book appears.

6. Double-click the recipient's fax number.

The Fax number is transferred to the Fax Wizard.

7. Click Next.

8. Choose and complete a cover page and then click Next.

9. Choose whether you want to send the fax now or at a different time and then click OK.

The fax will be sent, saving your time with no paper jam. The Fax monitor box opens, showing the call status.

You can read the complete report of your faxes sent and received in the MS Fax console. Go to your Windows Control Panel, click the Printers And Faxes folder, and double-click the Fax folder to display the Fax console. Now select the Sent items to see a list of sent faxes.