How to Fax from Google Drive
Google Drive is Google's virtual storage service, which allows you to store documents in the cloud. Until recently it was known as Google Docs, a tool that allows us to replace the office programs installed on the computer with virtual ones and, above all, free ones. Thanks to Drive, we have been able to improve our productivity and teamwork in many offices around the world.
But not only can we share our documents digitally, we can also fax them if necessary. When we fax online with a service we can choose to send documents stored on our computer, or in a cloud storage service. This not only includes Google Drive but other popular services such as Drop and Dropbox too.
In this article we will explore the different ways you can fax from Google Drive, either with the help of email fax or with the help of a third party plug-in.
Faxing Google Drive Documents Through Email
If you already have an account with an email fax service, it will be so easy to send documents from Google Drive that you won’t need to leave your Gmail dashboard.
You will have to log into Gmail and follow all the steps to send email fax. If you don’t know them, we invite you to read our article on sending fax through Gmail, where we guide you on how to setup and send your first email fax message.
At the moment of uploading the file we wish to fax, we can choose between attaching documents from our computer or from Google Drive. For this, you have to click on the icon "Insert Files Using Drive", which is the logo of the service. Here’s an image so you can find it easily.
Once this is done, a new window will appear, letting you access the various files and folders in your Drive account. There’s even a search bar at the top that allows you to quickly find any file.
Keep in mind that your Drive and Gmail account must be the same, alternatively, make sure the file is shared with the Google account used for faxing.
Using Your Online Fax Service's Web Tool
If you want it, you can send faxes directly from the web tool of your favorite service. Remember that not all services have the option to use Google Drive, so it is best to consult with a representative before creating a new account.
Access your fax account from your computer and go to the "Send Fax" area. For the purpose of this tutorial, we will use RingCentral Fax (through their web tool FaxOut), one of the first services that integrated cloud storage in their plans. Other services with this feature include eFax and MyFax.
In that section you will find advanced delivery features. Among them, the option to attach different types of files.
Next to "My Computer" is the list of compatible cloud storage services. Click on Google Drive.
The first time you do this, you will need to authorize the link between both your fax and Google accounts. From there, you won't have to do it, just use the Drive navigation window and pick the documents you want to send.
Using a Google Docs Add-On
If you are looking to send a fax without leaving Drive's interface, then you will need an add-on that adds fax features on your Docs sidebar. Of all the companies that develop these add-ons, perhaps the best known is HelloFax.
To get started, head over to the Google Docs add-ons store and find the one you want to use. In the case of this tutorial we are going to use HelloFax. These add-ons are 100% free to install, there many out there for all kinds of tasks.
To finish the installation, you’ll be asked for authorization to access your Google account. Accept, and you’ll be ready to fax from Google Drive.
Open a document in Drive, and on the top bar select "Add-Ons". There you will find the name of the service you have chosen to install. Select it, and then a sidebar will appear with a simple form you need to fill out with the recipient's details before sending your fax.
Although convenient, these services are usually paid per fax or per page, so it may end up being more expensive than using a conventional online fax service with a monthly plan.
Why Fax from Cloud Storage Services?
It allows you to send faxes from anywhere. Some of the best online fax services have developed apps that let you to send faxes from your phone. By storing your documents in Drive, you can simply pull them for faxing, opening the possibility to fax anywhere. Rest assured that you will never find Drive unavailable.
Improves workflow in the office. Working in a virtual platform, has the advantage of letting you share and edit documents virtually as a team, which speeds up the workflow in your company. Any faxed document can be seen by your team if necessary.
Keep your documents at hand. By working with cloud storage services, you will be able to access them anywhere as long as you have an Internet connection. You will receive faxes and store them on your virtual account. Need to check an invoice? Well, just log into Drive with your phone and find it!
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