File Formats

When Microsoft Fax receives a document to fax, it must convert the document into a faxable image format. The technique it uses is the "printto" feature found in the registry for the given file type. For example, a .doc file will have a default application of Microsoft Word, and in the registry is a "printto" entry that provides instructions on executing Word to print a document to a special hidden printer context that is used to build the fax output.


When using the UnForm msfax() command, the most common format for fax submission is PDF. Unfortunately, Acrobat does not support this "printto" feature, so it is not a format that Microsoft Fax can fax. The normal solution to this is to configure the Windows Support Server with GhostScript, which can then be used to convert the PDF file to TIFF format.


On Windows 2008, this presents a second problem, because the some installations of 2008 do not provide a compatible TIFF viewing application. It has been reported to us that if you install the Desktop Experience Feature of Windows 2008, a compatible viewer will be installed and solve this problem. Alternatively, you could also configure the "open with" application for TIFF files to be an application that supports the "printto" feature. There are several available, including many of the various picture viewers and editors that come with Windows.


The Windows Support Server, which executes the faxing process, must have permission to use the fax service.  This server typically runs as a service, often within a Windows UnForm server, and that service runs while logged in as a user.  That user defaults to the local system account, which may not have permission to fax.Using Control Panel, Administration Tools, Services, you can change the service's login to a valid user.  You can also test that user with faxing by simply logging in as that user and faxing a TIF image file.

Cover Pages

Again related to users, Microsoft Fax configures cover pages by user, so if you want to configure a cover page, you need to login as the same user that the service runs as, start the fax application, and add or edit the cover page needed.