If you have recently started a job that involves faxing documents, you may find yourself in an awkward position where you aren’t really sure what to do. Faxing documents is still common for many organizations, but with email accessible at our fingertips from our mobile devices, many of us have never had to learn the professional jargon associated with fax machines, and may not know what we are doing.
When you are told to edit or add a fax header to a document, you are being asked to add a header to the document that includes the date, time, fax number, and the name of the fax machine you are using.
Now that you know what a fax header is, let’s talk a little bit more about what is the purpose of a fax header, and how to include fax header information on your documents.
The following information is included in fax headers. This is important information to give context to the fax, particularly when a fax document may not come through immediately or is going to someone who isn’t sure what the document is. While you should always use a cover sheet for this, as well, the header can give important context when a cover sheet isn’t used.
A fax header has the date and time included in it. This date and time is pulled from when that machine began it’s transmission, not from when the document was received.
There are a couple of different options when it comes to each individual page of a larger document. Some fax machines and settings will use the same date and time for each page, even if it takes a while for all the pages to be transmitted.
Other machines and settings will put the date and time that each individual page was transmitted, so each document will have slightly different information.
Some machines do a bit of both, including both the start of the transmission as well as a timestamp showing the time that a particular page was transmitted.
For the time and date, you are able to edit the way this is formatted in the fax machine settings For instance, you can toggle between using standard time and military time.
For the fax header to be correct, it is also important to ensure that your fax machine is set to the correct time zone and time, and you should be sure that it is adjusting during daylight savings time, as well.
When setting up the fax machine, the owner will enter the name of the company or individual. This information will show up on the fax header. While we all like to name our devices and WiFi names something funny, it is important not to do that on a fax machine, as that name is going to be included on all of your faxed documents.
If the name needs to be changed, you can do so in the settings based on the owner’s manual that came with your machine and is also available digitally on the fax machine’s manufacturer’s website.
The fax machine will also include its own number in the fax header. It uses this number to send and receive information. It is possible that this number may be the same as your land-line number for a home-based business, but most companies have a dedicated line for their fax machine.
When you receive a faxed document, it is possible that the fax machine that sent it to you is dedicated to transmissions only, and that the company uses a different number to receive faxes. While this information will hopefully be purposefully included in the cover sheet you received with the faxed document, it is always a good idea to double-check and request the correct number ahead of time.
The fax header information goes on each page of a fax transmission.
The fax machine has CSID and TSID settings within the machine. In order to correct any errors in the fax header, these settings in the machine will need to be updated.
In all businesses, establishing a paper trail is important. Fax headers are confirmation that documents were sent and received successfully, and also helps give context to the information being shared.
This can be very important if the information ends up being incorrect later on, in order to prove that, at the time, what was being shared was factual to the best of that company’s or individual’s knowledge.