How to Fax a PDF to a Fax Machine

how to fax a pdf


​Want to send a PDF to a fax machine, but don't know how? Don't worry, we've got you covered.  These days, you can easily convert a PDF to fax in just a few minutes. Read on to learn everything you need to know about faxing a PDF.

​For starters, there are 3 ways you can fax a PDF online: Through an email-to-fax service, a smartphone fax app, or by using a website form to fax from a computer. These PDF-to-fax alternatives allow you to convert .pdf files (among many others) into analog fax signals that can be received by any traditional fax machine on the planet.

​Option 1 - Using ​An Email to Fax Service


​Online fax services allow you to fax a PDF file. You do this by creating a new email and attaching your file.

There are several online fax services that work with a variety of file formats, including PDFs. Since it's very easy to use and ​create an account with a fax service, this is undoubtedly the best way to fax online.

​Luckily, ​good fax services like eFax​​ let you create a free account in a ​couple of minutes to send your file securely.​ ​You can use this account to test how this method works, free of charge.​

​All online fax services allow you to convert any PDF file into a fax, maintaining compatibility with any fax machine on the market. And because they use web-based technology, you can fax a PDF from your Mac or PC in the same way.

​Sending PDF to Fax Through Email

Let’s take a look at how ​to fax a from ​a desktop computer using your email:

  1. Compose a new email.
  2. On the TO field enter the number followed by (the actual domain name will be given to you on an email). For example in the case of eFax, a sample number would look like this:
  3. Enter the cover message on the MESSAGE field or on the BODY field.  This page will precede the contents of your PDF.
  4. Attach a ​.pdf file from your computer.
  5. ​Click on Send

​​Once the file is sent, it is converted into a fax signal in a few seconds and sent to its destination.  You'll then receive a confirmation email.

​Learn more on: How to Send Fax from Gmail Free

​Option 2 - ​Sending Fax Through a Smartphone ​


​​If you are always on the go, you can fax a PDF directly from your mobile phone by downloading a mobile fax app for your iPhone or Android phone. Simply open the app, attach the PDF, enter the number and click send.

Types of Fax Apps

There are two types of apps to fax from your phone out there: those that come as part of an online fax service, and those where you need to pay for each fax you send.

​The first option gives you more flexibility because if you are not on your phone, you can simply fax the PDF document from your desktop computer or with your email.  However, you will need a monthly plan.

The second option is better for those of you who only need to send an occasional fax.  And why is that? Because although paying per fax can end up being more expensive than paying for a monthly plan, it really doesn't matter if you're only faxing a few pages.

Either way, make sure the service and application you use is PDF compatible.  Some applications only allow you to fax documents that have been "scanned" with your phone's camera.

​Option ​(Not Recommended) - Free Fax Websites

​If you want to fax files from your computer without spending money, you can use a website that lets you send faxes for free. These sites allow you to send up to two pages per day, and most of them support PDF to fax.  

But... well, we wouldn't recommend sending faxes online with these services if faxes are an important part of your business. Not only are you limited in the amount of pages you can send, but each of your faxes may or may not come with a cover page of advertising.

On the other hand, if you never send a fax and need to send one now, they are a pretty good alternative. And it saves you from having to find the nearest office supply store.

If you plan to send faxes regularly, you will be better off with an online fax service, as these "free" sites then charge you a set amount per page, which can quickly become more expensive than a service that allows you to send 300 pages per month.

If you want to get started without spending any money, a better alternative is to sign up for a free trial with an online fax service, which will allow you to not only send but also receive faxes for an entire month.

​Can I Fax from a Computer Using Acrobat Reader?

​If your service has a plug-in, you can send a fax from within Acrobat Reader by clicking File> Print and selecting your service from the printer list.

This should take you to a new window where you can enter all the fax details such as number, cover page, etc.  Once you are done, just send it and after a minute or so you should receive a confirmation message in your email account.

​Receiving Fax ​to PDF

​If you ​use an online fax service, you can also receive fax ​to Gmail converted to PDFs.  That's because they provide you with an online fax number o link to your preferred email address.  

​Your number redirects incoming faxes to fast fax servers where they are converted to a digital file, in this case a PDF. Once the conversion is complete, the resulting file will be attached to an e-mail message containing all the details of the transmission. Once it arrives in your email, you can read it or download it at your convenience. Learn more about receiving faxes online.

Benefits of Receiving Faxes as PDF​

benefits of pdf

​Introduced more than two decades ago, the PDF file format has proven itself to be one of the most widely used file types in the world. You can find it everywhere online, and search engines like Google have even started ranking these files in their pages.

It's also the preferred format for sending faxes to Google Mail. And this is no coincidence, because there are many advantages to using documents in PDF format. And that's what we're going to explore in this article.

1. They Can Be Read Anywhere

​Today, every device and operating system has a way to open Adobe PDF files. On a Mac, you can use Preview; on a PC, you already have Adobe Reader installed with Windows; even browsers can view PDFs with the official plug-in.

Any fax you receive will also be readable on a smartphone or tablet. You can use your web browser or the built-in preview software for iPhones/PDF reader app for Android.

2. It is A (Secure) File Format Accepted By Businesses

​PDF is a format that has not only been embraced by the general public, but millions of businesses use it every day to collaborate in an easy and affordable way.

That's because PDFs are not only easy to manage, but there are also several options that can add levels of security to your documents, including passwords and watermarks.

3. It can show text and images

​Before PDF, there was no easy way to include text and images in a digital file. You had to work with software like Word, but opening those files required that everyone have a specific, paid-for program.

PDF content is consistent across all devices, no matter what application, software, or operating system you're viewing it on. Best of all, these files aren't heavy compared to similar formats. Even high-quality files can be compressed to a file size that is easy to fax. Keep in mind that most fax services have a 20MB limit for fax conversion.

4. It’s Easy to Add a Signature to Faxes

​There are certain situations where we need to receive a fax and then send it back. Fortunately, adding a signature to a PDF is a breeze. In addition to the various apps and web tools designed to digitize your signature, many services let you add it with just a few clicks (or taps, if you use your mobile phone to receive faxes!).

First, you need to scan or sign directly with a tablet pen, then turn your signature into a digital image with a transparent background. This image will then be added to the documents in the places you see fit.

5. The format remains consistent

​If you have worked with other document-editing programs, you may have noticed that they depend heavily on the version of the file you are using. Sometimes you open a document from an earlier version and it doesn't look like it should.

With a PDF, you can forget about this problem because the way it works has been preserved by Adobe. You can open a PDF that has been on your computer for 10 years and it will look exactly as it was originally intended. New versions of Adobe Reader improve the way we can handle these documents, but not the PDF itself.

6. It’s here to stay

​The format was created to help eliminate paper used in offices worldwide. Today, it is so widespread that you can be sure it will remain relevant for decades to come, after all, it has already stood the test of time in these days when a new technology appears every two days!

Storing your faxes as PDFs not only gives you a lot of advantages now, but they'll also be accessible in the future, so you'll never have to convert them to another file again.

What About the Downsides?

​Of course, no file format is perfect, and PDF is no exception. For example, creating a PDF is not as simple as it may seem. Adobe Reader is just that, a reader. You need specialized software and probably a designer to create your own high-quality PDFs.

Readability on small devices can be limited because the content is not reflowable; you just zoom in on the parts you want to read.

Finally, converting PDFs to other file formats can be a rocky experience, there are a lot of options you need to know how to use to get an optimal result. Other times, you need a specialized program or service to convert a PDF to a specific file type.

Fortunately, when you fax a PDF online, we don't have to deal with these problems. There's no need to create PDFs from scratch, they just arrive in your inbox. Plus, any document you fax is automatically converted to PDF by your fax service (and vice versa), so it looks exactly like the original document.

​Final Words

​In this article, you've learned how to convert PDFs to faxes online without having to rely on a fax machine or an office supply store. As you can see, you don't even need a fax number if you don't want to receive faxes or if you only want to fax occasionally. With online solutions you can reduce the time and money you spend on faxing, online faxing is easy and you can be up and running in minutes.​Check out out guide at Google Online Fax to learn more about Internet faxing.