Scan to Fax Tips

One of the most frequent challenges in using online fax services is how best to fax traditional, paper-based documents.

Generally, this involves using a scanner or all-in-one printer to scan them on to your computer and then either faxing via email or by uploading through the service provider's website.

While the capability to scan documents has been available with inexpensive devices for some years, there are some fax-specific considerations to keep in mind when creating your document.

Pick the Right Resolution for Faxing
First, it helps to understand fax resolutions and set your scan dpi to match those as closely as possible. The most common resolutions for faxing and corresponding 'best' scanner setting are:

  • Hyperfine - 408x391 - Scanner at 400 dpi
  • Fine - 204x196 - Scanner at 200 dpi
  • Normal/Low - 204x98 - Scanner at 200 dpi

Higher-end fax machines and fax services that support all capabilities - such as our Internet fax by FAXAGE service - can support all resolutions up to hyperfine, and this will result in the cleanest images. However, not all fax services or fax machines can do that. When in doubt, 200 dpi is a good general setting to use.

Fax and Color don't Mix Well
In general, fax is a black-and-white medium (excepting color faxes, but those are relatively uncommon). NOT grayscale - actual plain-old black-and-white. We cannot possibly stress this too much - no matter what fax service you use, your results will almost always be better if you set your scanner to black-and-white and not color or grayscale.

Variety is the Spice of Life, So Stand Out with Contrast
Faxes look 'cleaner' when fonts are not blurry and edges are crisp. It also really helps out the recipient with reading what you sent them. One way to help your document show its best face to the world is to set the contrast as high as possible on your scanner.

Quick Take Aways
For best results with scanning to fax, remember these three key points:

  • Set the right resolution - 200 dpi is a good, general choice
  • Set for black-and-white scanning - not color or grayscale
  • Crank up the contrast as far as possible

Happy Faxing!

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