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Receiving Faxes

You can set up your computer to receive a fax, too. You do that with Tiger's Print and Fax preferences pane. Follow these steps:

  1. Choose System Preferences from the Apple menu to display the System Preferences window.
  2. Click the Print & Fax button to display the Print & Fax preferences pane.
  3. Click the Faxing button to display faxing options (see Figure 10).
    Figure 10

    Figure 10 Use the Faxing pane to set options for receiving faxes.

  4. Select the "Receive faxes on this computer" check box.
  5. In the My Fax Number box, enter your fax phone number. (You should do this even if you don't receive faxes; Mac OS X uses this information in the header of your outgoing faxes.)
  6. In the "Answer after" box, specify the number of times the phone should ring before your computer answers the phone to receive the fax.
  7. Select other options as desired to determine what your computer should do with received faxes. You must choose at least one of these options:
    • Save to. Specify a folder in which you want to save incoming faxes.
    • Email to. Specify an address to which you want to email a copy of the fax.
    • Print on printer. Specify a printer on which you want to print the fax.
  8. When you're finished setting options, choose Quit System Preferences from the System Preferences menu.

When your computer receives a fax, there's no sound or other indication to let you know that a fax has arrived. Instead, your computer handles the incoming fax by following the instructions you provided in the preceding steps. For example, per the instructions I specified, my Mac saved the fax as a PDF file in the Faxes folder inside my Home folder, as shown in Figure 11. I can double-click that file to view the fax with Preview or Adobe Reader. Faxes remain in this folder until you delete them. I could also have had my Mac send the fax to me as an attachment to an email message and/or print it on my printer. (Normally, I would choose only one of those options—probably the printer.) Choose the method that makes sense in your work environment.

Figure 11

Figure 11 You can find received faxes in the Faxes folder in your Home folder.

Now you know that there's a fax machine hidden away inside your Macintosh. Whether you want to send faxes or receive them, Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger has you covered.

Maria Langer is a freelance writer who uses and writes about Mac OS. She is the author of the bestselling book Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger: Visual QuickStart Guide (Peachpit Press 2005, ISBN 0321305264) about the latest and greatest version of Mac OS. Visit her on the web at

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