I get about 2 faxes a year, so I hate to stand up a dedicated fax machine and phone line. There is, of course, a free fax service available. But the problem is the free version only delivers proprietary efx files. To open these you need to run the eFax software. Sure its free, but its Windows only! Might run under Wine with some coaxing and, of course, you can run Windows in VirtualBox, but what a pain just to open a fax or two a year.
EFax will let you get the fax as PDF if you upgrade. I just don’t get enough faxes to justify that. But there is a way.
If you log into your account online you will see several options including “View Faxes.” Click that. You get a web page that looks like an e-mail inbox. You’ll see the faxes you have received. Click the fax you want to view or print. This will load a preview pane at the bottom. But you can only look at the first page. Double clicking the fax brings up a new tab that shows the same preview image. But there is a link in the header that says “View Fax: xxxxxxxx.efx” (where the x’s are the file name). You’d think that would just download the efx file, right? Nope.
Click the link. Go on. Now you have a viewer that lets you pick a page of the FAX, zoom it, and rotate it. If you just need to look at the fax you are done. But I wanted to print mine. Am I out of luck? Here’s the trick: Right click on the displayed fax (it doesn’t matter if you can see it all or not). Depending on your browser you’ll get an option like “Copy Image URL” (I guess you could also “Save Image” and then go open the image in your favorite picture editor and go from there. With the Image URL, go to a Web browser and paste it into the URL bar. Woo hoo! You now have a full page image that you can print from the browser. Different browsers handle images differently, so you are on your own at this point. On Chrome I’d zoom the image up to 100% and print and I got nice full page faxes. If you were not at 100% the print would be smaller than the page.
Of course, if you have a 100 page fax its a pain to have to do this for every page. But seriously, if you are getting 100s of pages of fax, subscribe or install the free app under VirtualBox or Wine! But for those of us who left most of our faxes back in the 1990’s this is an easy way to get faxes printed without Windows.