Fax Server FAQ Answers
- 1. What is a Fax Server?
Fax Server, as the name suggests, is a server that supports faxing services. It takes documents sent from PCs and other computers through the local network (Ethernet), converts them into fax format and sends the faxes over the regular telephone lines. Fax Server receives all incoming faxes, converts them into TIFF files and routes the TIFF files to the appropriate location through the local data network. This integrates faxing support seamlessly with the computer's desktop.
- 2. Do I need fax/modem card to use Fax Server service?
You are not required to have a fax/modem card on your computer and there is no need for an analog phone line to the fax/modem card. However, your computer has to be on the network. Fax Server communicates with your computer through the network.
- 3. What are Exchange and Outlook?
Microsoft Exchange is an email/messaging system. Microsoft Outlook is an email client that allows you to send and receive messages. It also includes a calendar, task management and other features.
- 4. How can I order Fax Server service?
Go to the Ordering a Fax Server Account page.
- 5. Can I use Fax Server services with email?
Currently, we support only Exchange mail. Fax Server integrates with Exchange to allow users to receive and send faxes just like they would send and receive e-mail. Fax Server attaches all incoming faxes to the body of the email message as a TIFF file. This file is the actual fax.
- 6. Do I need any Fax Server software installed?
If you are using Exchange mail, you do not need to install any other software.
- 7. I am having trouble when viewing faxes using Outlook.
Please report your problem to the IT Support Center at 713-743-1411.
- 8. How can I send faxes using Outlook/Exchange?
There are three ways by which you can send faxes from Outlook/Exchange mail clients. They are (in the order of preference):
- Outlook Contacts
- One-off Faxes
- Personal Address Book
Outlook Contacts - Most Outlook users maintain a list of contacts. Outlook contacts are stored remotely on the Exchange Server. Fax Server can pull off data from a contact and use it on the fax cover sheet, as well as for dialing the phone number of the recipients fax machine. The important field here is Business Fax. You can choose to send faxes to other numbers also (e.g., home fax). To send faxes to the Business Fax of a contact, in Outlook, select New Mail Messagefrom the File menu. This displays an Untitled Message window. ClickTo. In the "Show names from the" area of the "Select Names" dialog box, make sure that "Contacts" is selected. Email and Business Fax addresses of all your contacts will be visible in the list. Select the desired Business Fax addresses for the "To", "Cc" or "Bcc" fields before clicking OK. Compose the subject and body of the fax message and then click Send to start transmitting the fax. To find out how to create/edit contacts, refer to your Outlook documentation.
One-off Faxes - This option is good for sending quick, one-time faxes to recipients whose address you do not want to keep in your contacts or personal address books. To send one-off faxes, bring up the Untitled Message window as shown above. In the "To" field, specify the fax address of the recipient. Use the following format.
Let's say that you want to send an on-campus fax to Jane Smith whose fax number is x30015, enter the fax address like this:
Let's say that you want to send a fax to John Smith whose fax number is 713-743-1129, enter the fax address like this:
Note that there are no spaces and square brackets are required as a part of the fax address. Also, the name and the number will appear on the fax cover sheet.
Personal Address Book - Outlook provides personal address books for storing and using e-mail, and phone/fax data of your contacts (this is not related to Outlook contacts above). Personal address books can be stored locally on the user's hard disk which gives a degree of freedom from the Exchange Server. Refer to Outlook documentation on how to create and maintain a personal address book. Here, we show how it can be employed for creating and using fax addresses.
From your Outlook/Exchange client, select Address Book from theTools menu. The Address Book dialog box appears. Select New Entryfrom the File menu. Select the Fax Address. The New Fax Address Properties dialog box appears with the FAX-General tab selected. Fill in all fields. In the Fax Number field, type the complete fax number with area code.
If the fax is long distance, enter 1 in front of the fax number followed by a comma and your long distance code. For example, if you have a fax number 5552222 with area code 687, and your UH long distance code is 000000, enter 16875552222,000000. A comma must separate the phone number from the UH long distance code.
If the call is international, type 011, country code, area code and the phone number. In the above example, if you have to call another country with country code 023, enter 0110236875552222#000000 in the Fax number field. A # must separate the phone number from the UH long distance code.
Fill out the other fields as desired and click OK. Now you can send a fax to the person you just entered in your address book. To send a fax, select New Mail Message from the File menu of your Outlook/Exchange client. Compose the message and in the "To" field, put the address that you just created from your address book as outlined above in the "Outlook Contacts" section of question 8.
- 9. How can I use file attachments with the Fax Server?
File attachments are very useful when you want to fax original documents, images, scanned documents or Word/Excel documents. To send original documents, scan the document in a scanner and save it as a GIF file. When composing the fax message, insert the GIF file in the body of the message. You can attach MS Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint) files in the same manner. Fax Server will convert the files to proper fax format before sending them out. The following file formats are supported as attachments:
- MS Office
- MS Wordpad
- Bitmap files
- GIF files
- PC paintbrush PCX files
- TIFF files
- Postscript PS files
- Adobe Acrobat Exchange PDF files
- JPEG files
- ASCII text files
- HTML files
- Others (PCL, DCX, RTF)
Not all forms of TIFF are supported. In addition, there is full OLE support for cut, paste and in-place editing of MS Office documents.
- 10. Can I use a custom cover page with my fax?
No. Fax Server has a default cover page with a UH logo on it (which is not required to be specified) for Exchange and other users.
- 11. What information is put on the default Exchange cover page?
The default Exchange cover page takes information from the database of the person sending the fax and the receiver of the fax. If the receiver is an Exchange contact, recipient information is obtained from the contact's database, otherwise, if the recipient is from the Personal Address Book, data contained there is used. For one-off faxes, the only information available is the name of the user that you include as a part of the fax address format. Refer to FAQ number 8 for an explanation of sending options. Also, when you compose the fax, anything you type in the "Subject" field will also appear on the cover sheet. The following information is put on the cover sheet:
- Sender name
- Sender fax number
- Sender department
- Sender company
- Recipient name
- Recipient organization
- UH logo
- Current Date/Time
- Fax Subject (appears in the comments area of the fax cover)
If you want recipient's data to appear correctly on the cover sheet, it should be entered properly in contacts or your personal address book.
- 12. What should be considered when specifying fax numbers?
Follow these rules/recommendations when specifying fax numbers.
- Use five digit numbers for all on-campus faxes. For example, to fax to the on-campus number 713-743-0015, use 30015. Ten digit numbers will work too, but this is not recommended.
- DO NOT put a 9 in front of a number to get outside the local UH PBX.
- You can use some characters in fax numbers. These include ( ) , spaces, commas, - , +, # , / signs. Numbers like 1 (800) ATT-HELP will not work because they include illegal string characters.
- Put a 1 in front of long distance (within North America) fax numbers and 011 for all international faxes.
- Fax Server blocks all 911, 1 (700), 1 (976) numbers.
- 13. How does the Fax Server transmit outbound faxes?
When you send an outbound fax, the Fax Server first converts your message to fax format and then sends it over a phone line to the recipient's fax machine. If the destination fax machine is busy or not responding, Fax Server will hold the fax and attempt to retransmit after five minutes. If the destination fax machine still does not respond, Fax Server saves the fax for a final attempt after another five minutes has passed. After five retries, the attempted transmission will fail.
- 14. What is the format of incoming faxes and how can I reply/forward them?
All incoming faxes are delivered as a TIFF file. The fax TIFF files are in black and white. For Fax Server clients, TIFF files are delivered directly. For mail clients, TIFF files are delivered as an attachment to the mail message. In Outlook, you can double-click on the TIFF attachment to view a fax.
To forward/reply to a fax, click on the forward/reply button in Outlook. Enter the recipient's address in the "To" field.
- 15. What should I do if I cannot fix a problem?
If the problem you are facing is with the configuration of your system, contact your department's computer support person. If the problem is related to Fax Server/Exchange, call the IT Support Center at 713-743-1411 and explain the problem with some specifics. If you cannot send a fax and you are getting "Message Failed" from the Fax Server, note the fax reference number.
- 16. What kind of notifications does the Fax Server give?
Fax Server will notify you via email the results of all fax transmission attempts. The following three outcomes are possible (click to see an example):
Note that Fax Server will give you the JobID number of the fax you sent. This number is important because it is the number with which Fax Server catalogs all incoming and outgoing faxes. If a fax fails, Fax Server will also give the reason for failure (busy, no answer, deleted, bad/no phone number, etc.). No answer indicates that the fax machine at the other end is not replying, which could mean that either the destination fax machine is bad or the line is not a fax line. Bad/no phone number indicates that the number dialed is not valid or has been blocked by the Fax Server or the PBX. Busy can occur if the fax machine at the other end is busy. Busy can also indicate that the fax call did not go out of the PBX because of an invalid long distance code. Compose failures are generated when the document sent for faxing cannot be composed into fax format by the Fax Server. This means that if you attached a document with the fax, the Fax Server does not currently support that document.
For mail clients, incoming faxes are enclosed in email messages which convey information about when the fax was obtained, the fax reference number and the identity of the sending fax machine. Click here to see an example.
- 17. How can I send long distance faxes?
Type 1 in front of the fax number. If the recipient's fax number is 5552222 with area code 687, and your UH long distance code is 000000, enter 16875552222,000000. A comma must separate the phone number from the UH long distance code.
If a call is international, enter 011, the country code, the area code and the phone number. Using the above example, if the recipient is in another country with country code 023, enter 0110236875649898#000000 in the Fax Number field. A # must separate the phone number from the UH long distance code.
Fill out other fields as desired and click OK.
- 18. What is the user policy on the Fax Server?
The Information Technology Computer User policy applies. Please refer to the Information Technology Computer User policy page for details. Also refer to the Information Security Manual for security issues.
- 19. What should I do if I am experiencing conflicts with Microsoft Fax?
This FAQ item is for all Exchange users who may or may not be registered with the Fax Server. If you have an analog phone line going to the modem of your computer and you are using Microsoft Fax for sending and receiving your faxes, you may be experiencing problems with your faxes. The reason for this may be your default delivery mechanism in Outlook properties, which may have been set to Microsoft Exchange transport. To correctly receive and send faxes using Microsoft Fax, select Mail and Fax from the Control Panel. This will display the Outlook property sheet. Click the Delivery tab; in the second list box of this area, your delivery options are listed in order. Bring the "Microsoft Fax Transport" option to the first position and click OK. This should allow you to use Microsoft Fax as the first choice transport mechanism.
If you are a Fax Server subscriber and are having conflicts with Microsoft Fax, follow the steps above. Specify "Microsoft Exchange Transport" as your first choice delivery mechanism as shown above. If you want to completely get rid of Microsoft Fax, click the Services tab and select Microsoft Fax. Make sure that Microsoft Fax is selected and then click Remove.
Note: In case of conflicts, messages like the one shown below will be displayed whenever you try to transmit faxes.
"Failed to queue fax to %phone number% - Error 10101"
- 20. What is a DID number?
Campus phone or fax numbers starting with 3 are DID numbers. x3-0014 or 713-743-0014 is a DID number while x6-0014 is not. DID numbers can be reached from outside as well as from inside the campus while non-DID numbers can only be reached from inside the campus.
- 21. Can I used an existing fax number on a new fax server account? I don't want to change numbers.
Yes, you can keep the existing fax number, it will be re-routed to an UH exchange email address you designate.