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Send Faxes from Your Mac with Mountain Lion

OS X Mountain Lion includes the capability to fax a document right from the Print sheet. But before you can take advantage of it, you have to connect and add a fax modem. Fortunately, doing so is as easy as connecting and adding a printer.

Note that many printers today are actually multifunction devices combining a printer with a scanner, a fax machine, or all three.

After your device is connected and you see it in the Printer list in the Print & Scan System Preference Pane, you’re ready to fax. To fax a document, choose the Fax device from the Printer pop-up menu at the top of every Print sheet. When you do, the sheet becomes a Fax sheet.

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To fax a document, follow these steps:

  1. Choose Fax PDF from the menu that appears when you press and hold the PDF pop-up menu on the Print sheet.

  2. Type the fax phone number of the recipient in the To field.

    If you click the button with the silhouette on the right of the To field, you can select a recipient from the OS X Address Book.

  3. Add a dialing prefix if your phone requires one (such as 1, which most U.S. phones require to dial a 10-digit, long-distance phone number).

  4. Click the Use Cover page check box if you want a cover page, and if you do, you can type a subject in the Subject field and a brief message in the Message field.

  5. Select your fax modem from the Printer pop-up menu, if it isn’t already selected.

    Everything else in the Fax sheet is just the same as in the Print sheet, which you can read all about in the previous sections.

  6. Click the Fax button to send your fax.

Before you try to fax something, make sure you have a functioning fax modem — and that it’s configured, set up properly, connected to a phone line, and turned on. If you don’t get all those ducks in a row, this whole faxing process will (of course) fail.

Note that no Mac that can run Mountain Lion includes an analog modem, so those machines don’t have built-in hardware that supports faxing; you would need to purchase a modem or other hardware to use this feature (for example, a multifunction printer with fax capability).

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