People who have used it before know that fax is a fast, cheap and reliable way of sending and receiving documents. But when it comes to sending pictures… well, let’s just say that there is a reason why fax isn’t the preferred method for this kind of task. However, whereas faxed pictures are usually considered to be blurry messes even to this day, the technology has come a long way since the first images were sent this way. In fact, by simply opting for the right service and adjusting the necessary settings you’ll find any image recipients will be surprised to find out that faxed pictures do still have a purpose and they can still look the part, too.
The Purpose of Faxed Pictures
Although fax works best with text-based messages, there are plenty of reasons to send pictures over a fax line. For starters, images sent over fax aren’t as distorted as they are believed to be, especially in cases where photos or scans of documents are concerned. In fact, fax is perfectly capable of handling documents in an image file format, which is a huge asset in cases where there are no tools to convert the picture into the preferred PDF format and the message needs to be sent as soon as possible.
Pictures are also important for fax broadcasters, as including an image or even just a logo on the message is an effective way of explaining to recipients what the ad is about and which business is behind it. Images also play an important role when it comes to official documents too, as inserting certain types of pictures like e-signatures into the document can actually make facsimiles legally binding. But it’s also good to mention the fact that fax can be used for job hunting too, and we all know how crucial a good headshot can be if the job advertisement specifically asks candidates to send in photo CVs.
Making Pictures Fax Compatible
Even if there is nothing preventing you from sending pictures over fax, it’s best to remember that fax is, unfortunately, a limited medium. Thankfully, this limitation doesn’t mean subpar picture quality, especially if an online faxing service is used and the following advice is taken:
Testing for Faxing
One of the most crucial aspects about faxed pictures is how they will appear on the receiver’s end. In order to see if the image will look fine once transmitted it is worthwhile either sending it to yourself as a fax or instead using an image editor to apply a black and white filter and add some noise.
Image File Format
Admittedly, there is always the option to include the image in a more fax-friendly document and in the case of certain smartphones, pictures can be converted into the standard .PDF file format. But since online fax services are more than capable of handling countless file formats, conversion is not necessary at all. Still, to avoid any issues with lesser-known image formats it’s best to take the ‘email approach’ and only send image files that are either in .JPG or in .PNG.
In order to ensure that the picture looks as close to the original as possible – ignoring the black and white appearance – it’s highly recommended to always set the fax resolution to the best quality possible. Granted, this will result in a slower transmission, but this is the only way to keep the faxed image’s quality as close to the original as possible. Thankfully, some online fax services like eFax and its sibling products allow users to change the quality of outgoing messages, while more refined solutions like RingCentral provide the best resolution for its faxes by default.