Why fax a Google document?

If you’re wondering why you would send a fax in the era of Android or iPhone devices, that’s understandable.

The fax machine was an office staple for several decades, and it might surprise you to learn that many people still send and receive faxes.

In fact, the fax services market was worth around $3 billion in 2021.

And it’s not slowing down: by 2027, this is expected to grow to nearly $5.5 billion.

The ability to fax documents instantly was an innovation that promised speed and reliability before everyone had an internet connection.

Many businesses still use a fax machine, and many more retain a fax number, even if the physical fax machine has long since been scrapped — internet fax services have boomed.

So, it’s useful to know how to send a fax from Google Docs.

For some of your clients, sending a Google Docs fax could fit perfectly with their workflow.

You may find that the functionality offered by modern internet fax services fits neatly with yours as well.

How to fax from Google Docs

There are a number of methods to receive and send faxes of Google Docs, Google Sheets, Google Forms and more, including ones stored in your Google Drive or other cloud services like Dropbox.

You could use internet fax services, a physical fax machine, a fax software plugin, or a Google Drive add-on. 

Using an online fax service

An online fax service works like a virtual fax machine.

You can use your own fax number if you have one, or the service will provide one for you.

Well-known names providing these services include CocoFax, fax.plus, eFax, and Dropbox Fax (formerly HelloFax).

Most of these services can send faxes through your Microsoft Office or Google account via email.

When you send a new fax, the cover page is generated from the email body and the attachment becomes the faxed message.

When you receive a fax, the process happens in reverse, with the main body of the fax being attached to an email as a PDF file.

Some internet fax services have Google Drive integrations, too.

This means you can archive a fax with Google Drive or send a new fax directly from the file.

The only real downside of these services is that they tend to be quite specialized.

Not everyone will want to set up a separate fax account just to access this kind of functionality.

However, they can be a great solution if you do a lot of faxing.

Via a connected/wireless fax machine

Despite the attractions of the paperless office, the reality is that many of us are not quite there yet.

So you may have a fax machine or a multifunction printer that has faxing functionality.

In which case, doing it the old-fashioned way could be the best option.

There’s nothing wrong with just printing out your Google Doc and physically faxing it.

With some machines, however, you can also send faxes from your Gmail account via the print driver.

Say you want to fax a client a confirmation email.

All you’ll need to do is to go to the print option and then select the fax feature.

Enter the recipient’s fax number and away you go. No tutorial or advanced permissions needed. Simple.

Using fax software

Another option is to use built-in free fax apps on standard office software.

This won’t work if you use a Mac because this functionality isn’t available for Apple computers.

But if you’re using Microsoft Windows or Linux systems, you can turn your computer into a virtual fax machine. 

We’ll set out the process for Windows here, but the Linux one is similar.

You’ll still need either an internal or external fax modem and a landline phone connection.

So this isn’t a viable option if you only use VoIP communications.

Windows comes with the “Fax and Scan” application preinstalled, and you can toggle between the two on the sidebar. To send faxes:

  1. Connect your computer to a modem
  2. Click New Fax on the toolbar
  3. Connect to the fax modem
  4. Compose your fax and send it by clicking

You can’t connect Google Docs directly to the Fax and Scan app, but you can save them as a PDF file and add it as an attachment to the faxes you send.

Using a Google Drive fax add-on

There’s also the possibility of using a Google fax add-on for Google Drive.

This is great if you want to send and receive faxes directly from the Google Drive application. Here’s what you need to do:

  1. First, open a Google Doc or Sheet
  2. Click More -> Get Add-ons. This will take you to the Google Play Store, where you can search for a fax add-on
  3. Click the add-on that you want and install it.

After you’ve installed your Google fax add-on, you’ll need to re-open the Doc or Sheet to use it.

Faxing Google Docs is easier than before

All the above methods can work well depending on how your workflow functions.

But overall, most people are looking for integrated solutions that are easy to implement.

Comprehensive document management solutions like the ones provided by PandaDoc offer a great alternative to relying on fax.

A tool like PandaDoc for Google Workspace is an all-around solution for document management within the Google ecosystem.

You could still send and receive faxes using your Gmail account as described above, but you can also reap the benefits of a comprehensive package of well-integrated document tools.

All this means that there’s no need to wonder how to fax a Google Doc any longer. Nowadays, it’s quick, convenient, and very easy.