FaxExpress is the only device-independent networkable fax software for the Mac, requiring just a Class 2 fax modem. It offers the kind of features expected from standard fax software, including being able to fax pictures as pseudo-greyscales rather than black blocks, the flexibility to create a fax from almost any application and send it to a group of people if needed, and decent quality printouts.
Basic installation is simple enough. The server hosts the main FaxExpress Server application and FaxViewer (which controls all received and sent faxes). Each client has a Fax Chooser item plus three applications: FaxViewer, FaxStatus and FastFax. The latter is used to send a quick fax from the desktop – essentially a cover sheet without an attachment – while FaxStatus is similar to the Mac’s PrintMonitor, allowing you to control the fax queue. Communication between server and clients is through FaxMessenger, a Startup Items application.
Once installed, the initial set-up is equally straightforward. Each client connects to the server via the Chooser and shares the various cover-page designs and phonebooks. Sending a fax is then as easy as holding down a hot key set via the Quick Fax Selector Control Panel and using the normal print commands from an application’s menu bar.
Version 6 retains the basic functionality, concentrating instead on improving the user-friendliness of the system. The main fax dialogues have been redesigned for ease-of-use and include a small status-box detailing the number of pages and when the fax will be sent. The phonebook has some new facilities, including multiple destinations, and there’s a stand-alone phonebook editor that allows entries to be changed without having to access them via FaxExpress dialogs. Cover pages, previously rather rough-&-ready, can now be multi-page and can include graphics, a scanned signature, different typefaces, and the ability to recall the last message. Aside from the last facility, these have also been extended to the FastFax application.
FaxViewer has been substantially enhanced. Text and ‘stickies’ can be added to received faxes with additional highlighting tools and a new archiving system. On the server side, the Log File now records both incoming and outgoing faxes, and the first page of a sent fax can be printed with the date and time overprinted.
Other new features include de-installers for FaxSTF and FaxExpress, and the ability to open faxes from Global Village and FaxSTF programs.
FaxExpress is easy to use and almost bomb-proof. Being QuickDraw-based, it relies on having each document’s fonts accessible by the server (and at least ATM Light installed for font smoothing), resulting in impressive print quality at the receiving end. If you want a reliable networked fax-system, look no further. FaxExpress delivers.