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Microsoft Fax: The Basics

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This chapter describes how to use Microsoft Fax software to send and receive faxes and editable files (files that can be changed) from your computer.

With Microsoft Fax, users with modems can exchange faxes and editable files as easily as printing a document or sending an electronic mail message. Microsoft Fax is compatible with the millions of traditional Group 3 fax machines worldwide, yet it provides advanced security and binary file transfer (BFT) features that make sharing information by means of a fax easier and more powerful.

To use Microsoft Fax, you must install Microsoft Exchange. Microsoft Fax has been integrated into Microsoft Exchange as a messaging application programming interface (MAPI) service provider. All faxes sent to Microsoft Fax are received in the Microsoft Exchange universal inbox. You can send a fax by composing a Microsoft Exchange message, or by using the Send option on the File menu of a MAPI-compatible application (such as Microsoft Excel or Microsoft Word). In addition, Microsoft Fax includes a fax printer driver so that users can "print to fax" from within any Windows-based application.

Microsoft Fax provides the following key features.

Fax at your fingertips.

With Microsoft Fax, sending traditional faxes to Group 3 fax machines is as easy as printing a document. Additionally, Microsoft Fax uses the highest transmission speed and image compression supported by the recipient fax machine. Faxes sent in this way cannot be edited by the recipient.

Delivery by address type.

The MAPI service provider architecture allows you to mix different types of recipients in the same message. For example, it is possible to send a message simultaneously to Microsoft Mail, CompuServe®, Internet, and Microsoft Fax users as long as profiles for these destinations have been defined within Microsoft Exchange. A recipient's fax address can be selected from the Microsoft Exchange Personal Address Book, or the fax can be addressed by using an address that you use just once such as [fax: 555-1212].

Binary file transfer (BFT).

Microsoft Fax supports Microsoft At Work BFT, which makes it possible to attach an editable document to a Microsoft Exchange mail message. These editable documents can be sent to users of Windows 95, Windows for Workgroups 3.11, and other Microsoft At Work™-enabled platforms.

Security.

Microsoft Fax lets you securely exchange confidential documents by using public key encryption or digital signatures. Any security specified by the user is applied before the message is passed to the modem or connected fax device.

Network fax service.

You can install a fax device in one computer and share it with other users within a workgroup. Individual computers can have their own fax devices installed and still use the shared fax device.

Microsoft Fax Viewer.

The Microsoft Fax Viewer displays outgoing fax messages that have been queued to a local fax modem or to a Microsoft Fax network fax service. The Fax Viewer provides information about the current set of messages that are queued for transmission. You can also browse multipage faxes in thumbnail or full-page views.

"Best available" fax format.

When you make a fax connection in Windows 95, Microsoft Fax queries and exchanges its fax capabilities with the recipient. This exchange of capabilities determines whether the recipient is a traditional Group 3 fax machine, which can only receive rendered faxes, or if the recipient has Microsoft Fax capabilities, and can receive editable files. Windows 95, Windows for Workgroups 3.11, and Microsoft At Work fax platforms are all capable of receiving binary files and traditional faxes.

  • If the receiving fax device supports Microsoft Fax capabilities and an editable document is attached to a Microsoft Exchange message, then the file is transferred in its native format, in the same way as electronic mail.

  • If the receiving fax device is a traditional Group 3 fax machine, then Microsoft Fax converts the document to the most compressed type of fax supported by the machine (MH, MR or MMR compression type) and transmits the image by using the best available communications protocol supported by the mutual connection (that is, V.17, V.29 or V.27).

  • If Microsoft Fax sends a noneditable fax to another Microsoft Fax user, then the fax is transmitted by using the Microsoft At Work rendered fax format. This special format is much more compressed, on average, than Group 3 MMR. Therefore, the exchange of noneditable faxes between Microsoft Fax users is always faster than between Group 3 fax machines.

Compatibility with popular fax modems.

Microsoft Fax is compatible with Class 1 and Class 2 fax modems, and provides support for high-speed fax communications (V.17, V.29, and V.27).

Custom fax cover pages.

With Microsoft Fax, you can create new fax cover pages with a cover page designer that lets you incorporate graphics and text, or you can customize one of the predefined cover pages included with Microsoft Fax.

Connecting to fax information services.

Microsoft Fax easily connects to fax-on-demand systems by using a built-in, poll-retrieve feature that allows you to retrieve rendered faxes or editable documents from a fax information service.

On This Page

Microsoft Fax: The Issues
Overview of Microsoft Fax
Setting Up Microsoft Fax for the User
Sending Faxes
Retrieving Faxes
Network Fax Service
Security for Microsoft Fax
Technical Notes for Microsoft Fax

Microsoft Fax: The Issues

Before you install and configure Microsoft Fax on the network, you will need to decide the following:

  • Which users need Microsoft Fax. For every user who needs Microsoft Fax, you must also install Microsoft Exchange. All faxes sent to that user are received in the Microsoft Exchange inbox.

  • Whether to install fax modems on individual computers or to designate a computer running Windows 95 to host a Microsoft Fax network fax service for other members of a workgroup.

  • Which computer within a workgroup will host the Microsoft Fax network fax service. If the computer will also be used as a workstation, then a 80486-based computer with at least 12 MB of RAM is recommended. If the computer will be a dedicated fax server, then at least 8 MB of RAM is recommended. A high-speed (14.4 kbps) fax modem is strongly recommended. Depending on fax volumes, a shared fax service with this configuration could support up to 25 network fax users.

    Note: When the computer hosting the shared fax modem receives faxes, Microsoft Fax does not automatically route them to individual inboxes. The workgroup administrator must use Microsoft Exchange to send a received fax to the recipient's Microsoft Exchange inbox.

  • Whether you want to control or restrict access to the shared fax service. You can control access by defining a shared fax password, as described in "Network Fax Service" later in this chapter.

  • Whether your workgroup's fax needs might be better served by a LAN fax server or commercial fax service. This depends on whether your organization has high fax volumes and inbound routing requests and as a result needs more detailed cost tracking and management. Microsoft is working with vendors of high-performance fax server platforms to ensure that their products are well-integrated with Windows 95 and Microsoft Fax.

    Whether your fax modems and fax machines are compatible with Microsoft Fax. To ensure connections with the widest variety of fax applications, fax machines, and fax modems, Microsoft Fax supports the following international standards for fax communications:

    • ITU (International Telecommunications Union, formerly the CCITT) T.30 standard for Group 3 fax machines. Microsoft At Work capabilities such as BFT are implemented as T.30 NSF (nonstandard facilities), thereby maintaining compatibility with the installed base of Group 3 fax machines.

    • ITU V.17, V.29 and V.27 standards for high-speed fax communications (up to 14.4 kbps).

    • Class 1 and Class 2 fax modems. A Class 1 fax modem is required for Microsoft At Work BFT and security. Fax rendering to traditional Group 3 fax devices is available on both Class 1 and 2 modems. Microsoft is working directly with fax modem manufacturers to ensure excellent compatibility.

    • MH, MR, and MMR compression for Group 3 fax communications.

    • Microsoft At Work fax platforms.

Overview of Microsoft Fax

Users can easily exchange faxes and binary files in Microsoft Fax because it is accessible from the Windows 95 desktop, from within applications, or through the Microsoft Exchange inbox. As a 32-bit application, Microsoft Fax works smoothly with other applications created for Windows 95 through its support for MAPI, telephony API (TAPI), and OLE. The Send option in the File menu within any MAPI-enabled application (for example, Microsoft Excel or Word) will activate the Microsoft Exchange Send dialog box. The document appears as an icon attached to the electronic mail message.

To configure Microsoft Fax, do the following:

  • Install and configure a modem for sending and receiving faxes. For more information, see Chapter 25, "Modems and Communications Tools."

  • Install Microsoft Exchange and Microsoft Fax. The Microsoft Exchange Setup wizard will guide you through the installation procedure.

  • Add Microsoft Fax to Microsoft Exchange.

After Microsoft Fax is configured, users can easily exchange rendered faxes and binary files. Because Microsoft Fax is provided with Windows 95 as a basic service, it is always available from within applications created for Windows 95 or through the Microsoft Exchange inbox. Faxes are always received in a user's Microsoft Exchange inbox.

Setting Up Microsoft Fax for the User

The easiest way to install Microsoft Fax is to choose it in the Get Connected dialog box during Windows 95 Setup. You can also install it after you install Windows 95 by using the Add/Remove Programs option in Control Panel.

To install Microsoft Fax after Windows 95 installation

  1. In the Add/Remove Programs option in Control Panel, click the Windows Setup tab.

  2. In the Components list box, click Microsoft Fax. If you have not previously installed Microsoft Exchange, Windows 95 automatically selects and installs it at this time. Click OK.

To configure Microsoft Fax

  1. In Control Panel, double-click the Mail And Fax icon, and then click Add.

    – Or –

    From the Tools menu in Microsoft Exchange, click Options, click the Services tab, and then click Add.

  2. In the Add Services to Profile dialog box, click Microsoft Fax.

  3. A Microsoft Fax warning message asks if you want to type your name, fax number, and fax device modem. Click OK.

  4. In Microsoft Fax Properties, click the Message, Dialing, Modem, and User tabs, and type the appropriate information.

    Cc751106.rk27_02(en-us,TechNet.10).gif

    If you have installed a modem, Windows 95 automatically enters that information in the Modem properties. If you have not installed a modem, or if you want to select a different modem for sending faxes, click the Add button in the Modem properties to run the Install New Modem wizard.

    Note: The information you type in User properties automatically appears on the cover page of faxes you send in Microsoft Fax.

After you have configured Microsoft Fax, you can change its properties by clicking the Setup option in the Fax menu in Microsoft Exchange. If you have problems setting up Microsoft Fax, see the troubleshooting information for Microsoft Fax in online Help.

Sending Faxes

You can use Microsoft Fax to send and receive faxes by using a fax modem attached to your computer or on a network. Faxes are mail messages that are sent over the phone lines. Microsoft Fax shares the Personal Address Book with Microsoft Exchange and other MAPI providers.

The only difference between a mail message and a fax, from a Microsoft Exchange user's perspective, is the format of the recipient's address. Each Microsoft Exchange service provider, such as the Microsoft Network or Microsoft Fax, has its own format for a recipient's address.

You can send faxes from within Windows 95 in the following ways:

  • Use Microsoft Exchange to create an electronic mail message and fax its contents to a recipient as described in the following procedures. If the message recipient is also using Windows 95, the message can include binary files and editable documents. Otherwise, the message will be rendered and sent as a fax.

  • Print a document to the fax printer driver. If you select Microsoft Fax as the target printer for the document, and then click the Print option in the File menu, the Compose New Fax wizard will run.

    Cc751106.rk27_03(en-us,TechNet.10).gif

  • Run the Compose New Fax wizard by double-clicking the Fax icon in the Accessories menu.

  • Use Windows Explorer to drag and drop a document onto a Microsoft Fax printer icon on the Windows 95 desktop.

  • Right-click a document icon in My Computer to display the context menu. In the context menu, select the Send To option, and then select the Fax Recipient option to run the Compose New Fax wizard. The application that created the original document starts so that the document can be rendered (printed). After it is rendered, the application closes.

  • Use the Send option in the File menu of a MAPI mail-enabled application such as Microsoft Word or Microsoft Excel to activiate Microsoft Exchange.

Note: You can create a shortcut to the Microsoft Fax printer by right-clicking the Microsoft Fax printer icon and then dragging it to the Windows 95 desktop.

To send a fax from Microsoft Exchange

  1. In the Compose menu, click New Fax to run the Compose New Fax wizard.

  2. In the Compose New Fax Wizard dialog box, select the fax recipient's name and number from your Microsoft Exchange Personal Address Book, or create a new name, and then click Next.

  3. Click Yes to include a fax cover page with your message, and then click a type of predefined cover page, or click Options to define a message format and a time to send the fax.

  4. In the Next dialog boxes, compose your message and insert any binary files or objects you want to include in the fax.

To send a fax from the Windows 95 Start button

  • Point to Programs, and then point to Accessories, point to Fax, and then click Compose New Fax.

With Microsoft Fax, you can attach a cover page to a fax by selecting from four predefined cover pages, or by creating a custom cover page for each recipient. The predefined cover pages are named Urgent!, Confidential!, For Your Information, and General Purpose (default). You can also customize predefined cover pages as described in the following procedure.

With the Microsoft Fax Cover Page Editor, you can also design a unique cover page for each recipient. The Cover Page Editor allows you to incorporate rich text, graphics, logos, and information from the Microsoft Exchange Personal Address Book into a cover page.

Note: All cover pages contain recipient information that you first entered in the Microsoft Exchange Personal Address Book. Microsoft Fax inserts this information each time you send a fax.

See the following online Help topics for information about creating cover pages in Microsoft Fax:

  • Attaching a predefined cover page to a fax message

  • Customizing predefined cover pages

  • Creating a custom cover page

Retrieving Faxes

With the Request a Fax option, you can retrieve faxes from fax machines, fax-on-demand systems, and other fax information services that support Group 3 poll-retrieve capability. Some Group 3 fax machines allow you to retrieve editable files, software updates, and fax images by using the Microsoft At Work BFT protocol.

To retrieve faxes, you start the Request A Fax wizard in the Accessories menu or in Microsoft Exchange. The wizard allows you to download a specific document or a default document that includes the names of other available documents on the service.

To retrieve faxes using Request a Fax in Microsoft Exchange

  • Click the Tools menu, point to Microsoft Fax Tools, and then click Request A Fax.

The Request a Fax wizard guides you through the steps required to connect to a fax service and download faxes to your computer.

Network Fax Service

With Microsoft Fax, users in the same workgroup can share a fax modem installed on one of the computers in the workgroup. After the fax modem has been shared, all other users within the workgroup can send and receive faxes through it. The computer that contains the shared fax modem is called the fax server.

The Microsoft Exchange inbox of the fax server receives all of the faxes for the workgroup. The administrator for the server uses Microsoft Exchange to route the faxes to their intended recipients in the workgroup. Received faxes appear in the Microsoft Exchange inbox and each one is identified as a fax by a special icon. If the icon represents a rendered fax, double-clicking it runs the Microsoft Fax Viewer application. Otherwise, Microsoft Exchange opens the fax as if it were an electronic mail message. You can forward and reply to faxes in the same way you would a Microsoft Exchange mail message.

Before you configure a computer running Windows 95 as a fax server, make sure it has enough memory and that it has a compatible modem. For memory requirements, see "Microsoft Fax: The Issues" earlier in this chapter.

To configure a computer as a fax server in Microsoft Exchange

  1. Click the Tools menu, click Microsoft Fax Tools, and then click Options.

  2. In the Microsoft Fax Properties dialog box, click the Modem tab.

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  3. In Modem properties, make sure the option named Let Other People On The Network Use My Modem To Send Faxes is checked.

    In the Share Name field, Microsoft Fax displays the name of the default shared directory Network fax. Click the Properties button to change the name.

    In the shared directory's properties, change the name of the shared directory in the Share Name box.

    If you have user-level security enabled, define which users will have access to the network fax service, and define what their access rights are.

    If you have share-level security enabled, define whether a password is required to connect to the network fax service, and then dispense the password to users in the Windows 95 workgroup.

    For more information, see Chapter 14, "Security."

    Cc751106.rk27_06(en-us,TechNet.10).gif

    If you choose Full access, all users within the Windows 95 workgroup can send faxes by using the shared fax service. By default, all users can send faxes.

  4. Click OK to enable the Microsoft Fax shared fax server.

Note: Other users in the Windows 95 workgroup must know the fax server's full network name to access it. The name is formed by joining the server's computer name (found in the Network option in Control Panel) with the shared directory name, for example, \\JOELLEN\NETFAX.

To configure a computer as a client to the fax server in Microsoft Exchange

  1. Click the Tools menu, click Microsoft Fax Tool, and then click Options.

  2. In the Microsoft Fax Properties dialog box, click the Modem tab.

  3. In Modem properties, click Add.

  4. In the Add a Fax Modem dialog box, click Network Fax Server, and then click OK.

  5. In the Connect to Network Fax Server dialog box, type the network name of the fax server and then click OK.

  6. In the Microsoft Fax Properties dialog box, click the server name, and then click the Set as Active Fax Device button.

Security for Microsoft Fax

Microsoft Fax protects valuable and confidential documents through encryption and digital signatures. An encrypted fax can be read only by the intended recipient, who has a set of keys to unlock it or a password. A digitally signed fax allows a recipient to verify that the purported sender of the fax is the actual sender. You can use a digital signature on its own or add a digital signature to a fax protected with password or key encryption.

Password and key encryption.

You can encrypt a fax or binary file by using either a simple password or a public or private key pair. Password encryption, which is the simplest security method, scrambles a fax based on a specific password. The fax recipients can only unscramble the fax if they know the password. Password encryption does not require the exchange of public keys with your recipients, but you will need to tell them the password that you used to secure the fax.

When you use key encryption, Microsoft Fax assigns you two security keys, a private key and a public key. You can exchange public keys with anyone you choose. When you send a key-encrypted message, Microsoft Fax uses the recipient's public key and your private key to encrypt the message. When the message is received, Microsoft Fax uses your public key and the recipient's private key to decrypt it. Using your own private key ensures that the message could have been sent only by you. Using the recipient's public key ensures that only the recipient can unlock the message.You can store and maintain the public keys you receive from other users in your Microsoft Exchange Personal Address Book.

Note: Microsoft Fax applies security only to those faxes that have been sent as editable files. Rendered faxes cannot be secured.

Digital signatures.

Using a digital signature to secure a fax is similar to notarizing a document; it verifies for the recipient that the person who signed the document is the person who sent it. Digital signatures prevent anyone but the sender from modifying the document while it is being sent.

Digital signatures can only be used with binary file documents, that is, those that have been attached to mail messages (not rendered). Before you can use digital signatures, you must establish security and exchange public keys with a recipient as described later in this section.

Establishing Security and Exchanging Keys

The first step in using key encryption or digital signatures is establishing security.

To establish security in Microsoft Exchange

  1. Click the Tools menu, point to Microsoft Fax Tools, and then click Advanced Security.

  2. In the Advanced Fax Security dialog box, click the New Key Set button.

    Cc751106.rk27_10(en-us,TechNet.10).gif

  3. In the Fax Security - New Key Set dialog box, type a password, and then click OK. This password will be used for sending and receiving both key-encrypted and digitally signed faxes.

    Microsoft Fax automatically creates a public and private set of keys for you, and then it displays the Advanced Fax Security dialog box.

  4. Click the Change Password button to change your fax security password but keep the same key set, or click New Key Set to create a new key set.

To use the key set to send and receive secured faxes, you must exchange public keys. To exchange public keys, you must save your public keys to a file that you can send to other users, or add other users' public keys to your address book.

To exchange a public key with another user in Microsoft Exchange

  1. Click the Tools menu, point to Microsoft Fax Tools, and then click Advanced Security.

  2. In the Advanced Security dialog box, click the Public Keys button.

  3. In the Managing Public Keys dialog box, click Save.

    Cc751106.rk27_12(en-us,TechNet.10).gif

  4. In the Save Public Keys dialog box, click the public keys that you want in the listbox, and then click the To: button to identify the folder where you want to save these keys. Type a name for the public keys with the file extension .AWP, and then click OK.

If you receive a public key from another user, you will need to import the .AWP key file into Microsoft Fax. After you and your recipient have exchanged public keys, you will be able to exchange secured faxes. The easiest way to exchange public keys is through electronic mail. Compose a message in Microsoft Exchange and insert your .AWP file into the message. The recipient must save the .AWP file to a directory and import the public keys into Microsoft Fax.

To import the .AWP file in Microsoft Exchange

  1. Click the Tools menu, points to Microsoft Fax Tools, and then click Advanced Security.

  2. In the Advanced Security dialog box, click Public Keys.

  3. In the Public Keys dialog box, click Add, and then specify the path to the .AWP file.

Sending Secured Faxes

Microsoft Fax allows you to secure a fax on a per-message basis.

To send a secured fax

  1. In the Compose New Fax wizard, click the Options button, and then click the Security button.

    In the Message Security Options dialog box, choose from the following methods of securing a fax:

    • Click the Key-Encrypted option to encrypt your fax by using RSA public key encryption.

    • Click the Password Protected option to assign a password to the fax.

    • Click the option named Digitally Sign All Attachments to apply a digital signature to a document that you have attached to a mail message. You can add a digital signature to a key-encrypted or password-encrypted fax.

Technical Notes for Microsoft Fax

This section describes technical information about Microsoft Fax architecture and Registry entries.

You can send faxes either by using the mail client or the Microsoft Fax printer driver. In each case, the message is sent to the Microsoft Fax service provider by using MAPI. If you sent the message from a mail client, it might contain text, embedded OLE formats, and attachments. If you sent it by using the Microsoft Fax printer driver, the mail message will contain a rendered format of the file as an attachment to the mail message.

MAPI allows messages to be preprocessed based on the transport protocol used to send them. The transport protocol chooses the correct modem connection, uses TAPI to create a dial string, and sends the message to that recipient. The preprocessor determines whether to render the message into a fax form to be printed by a fax machine. The rendered format is attached to the original message as a message property and is deleted either when the message is sent or when the transport protocol tries to send the message but determines it cannot.

If the message does not have to be rendered, the message is converted from its original binary format to a line image (also called a linearized form), and then it is compressed.

After the message is submitted, the transport protocol determines what type of recipient the message is intended for as follows:

  • If it is a traditional fax recipient and the user has selected printed form or "best available," Microsoft Fax will render the document into the standard Group 3 image format. This can be used by standard fax machines and software. If the user selects editable form, an error message is returned.

  • If the recipient is a Microsoft At Work-enabled recipient and the user has selected printed form, then it will render the document into the Microsoft Fax rendered format. This format provides high-quality images of smaller size than standard Group 3 and it is used between Microsoft At Work devices, including fax machines and printers.

  • If the recipient is a Microsoft Fax recipient and the user has selected editable form, no rendering is required.

  • If there is a mix of recipients, and the user has selected "best available," then Group 3 and editable versions of the document are packaged in the message.

  • If the capabilities of the recipient are unknown, Microsoft Fax creates multiple formats to be sure that the proper format is available upon connect.

Fax-form messages sent to Microsoft At Work devices will be sent by using BFT with the resource-based rendering of the message sent as an attachment.

The Registry keys for a fax modem are found in:

Hkey_Local_Machines \Software \Microsoft \At Work Fax\Local Modems

For each local modem that has been installed by Windows 95, information is stored in the key named TAPInnnnnnnn where nnnnnnnn is an arbitrary number assigned by TAPI. The TAPI key contains subkey values. Values that are important to the system administrator are described in the following tables.

The following table lists the modem command strings used to reset the modem whenever Microsoft Fax acquires it from TAPI:

Subkey

Description

ResetCommand

This "AT" command string includes:
• Load factory defaults: &F
• Disable auto-answer: S0=0
• Echo OFF: E0
• Verbose ON: V1
• Quiet OFF: Q0
The default depends on fax modem. Typically, AT&FS0=0E0V1Q0.

The following table lists the setup modem command string used to set up the modem before dialing or answering:

Subkey

Description

SetupCommand

This "AT" command string includes:
• Max dial-tone timeout: S7=255
• Tie DTR drop to reset: &D3
• XON/XOFF flow control: Varies
The default depends on fax modem. Typically, ATS7=255&D3&K4.

ExitCommand

This command string is issued to the modem after hang-up, and just before releasing the port. The default is empty.

FixSerialSpeed

This command string specifics the port speed. The default is 19200.

PreAnswerCommand

This modem command string is issued to the modem just before issuing the ATA (answer) command. Microsoft Fax will have already issued the Setup command, and the command to go to the appropriate Fax Class (Class 1 or 2). The default is empty.

PreDialCommand

This modem command string is issued just before issuing an ATA (dial) command. Microsoft Fax will have already issued the Setup command, and the command to go to the appropriate Fax class (class 1or 2). The default is empty.

HighestSendSpeed

This modem command string specifies the highest speed to try sending a fax, in bits per second. A value of 0 forces the highest available speed. The default is 0.

LowestSendSpeed

This modem command string specifies the lowest speed to try sending a fax, in bits per second. A value of 0 forces the lowest available speed. The default is 0.

EnableV17Send

If 0, this command string disables use of V.17 (14.4 kbps, short train) for sending. The default is 1.

EnableV17Recv

If 0, this command string disables use of V.17 (14.4 kbps, short train) for receiving. The default is 1.

For more information about the Registry, see Chapter 33, "Windows 95 Registry."

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