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Email-Based Fax System

General Questions

Are our fax numbers changing?

With a few exceptions, your school's or department's fax numbers will remain the same.

Should we send faxes to other people or departments within the Westport Public Schools?

Faxing between District buildings has been discontinued. Any digital document should be emailed or shared using our network shares/dropboxes, and any paper document should be scanned and then emailed.

Do we need a long distance code to send faxes?

No, long distance codes will not be required for sending faxes.

Can we send faxes internationally?

No, international faxing will not be available.

Is email-based faxing secure?

Sending email-based faxes is no less secure that traditional paper-based fax systems, as all faxes are sent from Gmail via a secure (encrypted) connection to our fax servers. Receiving faxes is in fact more secure than a traditional system, as a username and password is required to access a fax email, rather than physical access to a printed copy sitting on a fax machine or copier.

Are copies made of faxes sent through the system?

No, copies are not made of faxes. However, as all faxes are now essentially emails, they are subjected to the same email archiving requirements as regular emails.

Receiving Faxes

When a fax is received for one of the District's fax numbers, the fax is converted into an email attachment and sent to the appropriate staff members for that fax number. Fax recipients have been approved by building and department administrators. In most cases, the main secretaries for each building will receive the faxes for the building's main fax number. Secretaries and other staff members who receive faxes will forward them via email to the fax's intended recipient.

Sending Faxes

Preparing a Document for Faxing

The fax system supports the following digital document formats for faxing:
  • Text (.txt)
  • PDF (.pdf)
  • Tiff (.tif or .tiff)
  • Post Script (.ps)
Please note: Microsoft Office documents, such as Word (.doc, .docx) or Excel (.xls, .xlsx), must be converted to PDF prior to being faxed.

If the document you wish to send is not in one of the above formats, please perform the following:
  • Paper Documents - Paper documents should be scanned using a copier in your area. The paper documents will be converted to a PDF, which can then be faxed. Staff members who have access to a scanner or multi-function printer with scanning capability may be able to use these devices as well, provided they create either a PDF or TIFF of the scanned document.
  • Other Digital Documents ( Word, Excel, etc.) -  At least one of the software programs Adobe Acrobat Pro and PDF Creator is available on all District computers. Please use these programs to convert your document to a PDF.
  • Google Drive Documents - Please open your document in Google Drive, then click on File, Download As, and choose PDF.

Cover Page

Faxes sent via email using the procedure below will automatically have a cover page pre-pended to it. The cover page will be populated with the sender's name, email address, number of pages (including the cover page), and the person's return fax number. For most staff members, this fax number is their home building's main fax number. Staff members with department-specific fax numbers will have their department's fax number populated on the cover page instead. As outlined below, staff members can populate additional fields of the cover page.

Sending a Fax

Once you have prepared your fax document, log into Gmail and perform the following:

1) In Gmail, click "Compose" to begin a new email message.
2) In the "To" field, please enter ONE of the following:
a) <Fax Number> where <Fax Number> is the fax number you wish to send the fax to.
  • Example
b) <Fax Number>/<Recipient> where <Fax Number> is the same as above, and <Recipient> is the name of the person or department the fax is intended for. The recipient will appear in the "To" field of the cover page. The recipient's name must have only letters and numbers. Please use a period (".") to denote a space. Only the first two periods will be converted into spaces. For example:
  • 2032221234/ This will address the fax to "John Smith".
  • 8602221234/; This will address the Fax to the "Health Department".
  • 2122221234/; This will address the fax to "Suite 7500".
    Remember to put a forward slash "/" after the fax number and before specifying the recipient.
Gmail will remember the fax addresses you use, and will automatically suggest them the next time you prepare a fax. You can also save the fax addresses as contacts in Gmail.

3) In the "Subject" field, fill in an appropriate subject. The subject will appear in the "Subject" field of the cover page.
4) In the email body, write any notes or comments that you have regarding the fax. These comments will appear in the "Comments" field of the cover page.
5) Attach the PDF you wish to fax. The PDF must be smaller than 25 MB. Your completed fax will look like the one below:

6) Click "Send". Your fax will now be forwarded to the fax server for delivery. Your fax recipient will receive a fax like the one below:
Fax_Page1      Fax_Page2

7)You will receive an email receipt for your fax, indicating whether it was sent successfully or not. If not, please review the email to determine why your fax did not succeed, and if applicable, try again.