Fax Machine Glossary

Commonly used fax machine terms

If you're relatively new to the world of fax machines, here's a list of words that may help you out in your search for a new, refurbished or rental fax machine:

  • Activity Report - A printed report of a fax machine's transactions. It can be printed automatically at a specified time or can be printed on demand. The information on the report may include date and time of transactions, fax number / name, length of time, number of pages, result errors, etc.
  • Anti Curl System (ACS) - A fax machine feature that is made to straighten a thermal roll of paper when it's printed.
  • ADF - An automatic document feeder.
  • All Dial List - A printed report of all the fax numbers stored in one-touch and speed-dial locations.
  • Automatic Fax - The process of transmitting a fax without picking up the handset or pressing the hook button.
  • Auto Redial - When the fax machine automatically redials the last number that was dialed. This is helpful in cases where the transmission didn't go through.
  • Backup Print - When a document is received into memory and is also printed.
  • Beep Tone - The sound the machine's keys make when they're pressed. The tone should also sound when an error occurs and when faxes have been received and sent.
  • Broadcasting - The process of sending the same document to multiple locations.
  • Call Back Message - This feature sends a fax and leaves a message for the recipient to call.
  • Caller ID - This lets you see the number of the person calling you.
  • Call Reservation - When a document is received, this device rings the recipient's phone. If the phone is picked up, your phone rings, enabling you to talk to the person.
  • Cancel Job - Lets you permanently cancel a programmed job.
  • CCD - A charged-coupled device or scanner bar.
  • CNG Tones - Calling tones that are sent during automatic transmission to let the receiving unit know they are receiving a fax, not a call.
  • Coding Method - A method of coding the document's information. All fax machines must use modified Huffmann (MH). Some also use modified read (MR) and modified modified read (MMR).
  • Communication Error - An error that occurs during transmission and receiving.
  • Compatibility Group - The ability of one machine to communicate with another. An example would be Group Three fax machines where compatibility is assured between the same ITU-T group of fax machines.
  • Confidential Mailbox - Private password mailboxes that are used for fax receiving and voice messages.
  • Contrast - This is used to adjust very dark and very light documents.
  • Cover Page Comment - The programmable comment that is used on the cover page. A custom comment lets you program your own comments.
  • Daily Timer - Enables you to program a specific time to send a fax.
  • Delayed Transmission - This lets you send a document at a later time on the same day.
  • Distinctive Ringing - A phone company service that gives you another phone number on an existing line for your fax machine.
  • DR100 - A drum unit for laser fax and laser multifunction center machines.
  • Error Correction Mode (ECM) - Detects errors while sending and resends the pages that had an error.
  • Electronic Cover Page - A printed page at the recipient's machine that contains the sender's and recipient's name, fax / telephone number, number of pages and comment.
  • F/T Ring Time - The length of time the machine rings when it calls you with a telephone call.
  • Fax Forwarding - This sends a document that's stored in the memory to the registered fax number.
  • Fax Tones - Signals sent by the sending and receiving machines during a transaction.
  • Fine Mode - A resolution of 203 x 196 dpi (dots per inch).
  • Gray Scale - A black and white document is actually gray. Gray scale refers to the levels of gray that a document can have. Most fax machines have 16, 32 or 64 gray levels.
  • Group / Number Groups - Fax number groups that are programmed in one-touch and / or speed-dial numbers for broadcasting.
  • Header Information - Includes the date, time, station ID and page number.
  • Help Key - This key prints programming information for quick reference.
  • ICM (Incoming Message) - A recorded voice message that is received by an answering machine or a message center fax machine.
  • Interrupting - Lets you put a waiting job on hold while you perform a timer or polled job.
  • Interval - Represents the time in between printed activity reports.
  • LCD Liquid Crystal Display - The display on the control panel that shows you information such as the date, time, phone number, etc.
  • Machine Error - A mechanical component in the unit that identifies problems.
  • Manual Fax - This is a method of manually transmitting a fax when the handset is picked up or the hook is pressed before entering the fax number.
  • Memory Status List - A list that displays the number of documents stored for retrieval, how much memory is used for fax features and how much memory is still available.
  • Memory Usage - A feature for units with message center that tells the machine how to allocate the memory.
  • Message Center - A fax machine that has a built in digital answering machine which can store documents and voice messages.
  • Next-Fax Reservation - Allows the machine to accept the next document in the ADF for sending, while it is still receiving.
  • OGM (Out Going Message) - The message you hear when calling an answering machine.
  • One-Touch Dial - A set of keys on the control panel that allow you to preprogram numbers for easy dialing.
  • Out of Paper Reception - Enables a fax machine to receive documents in its memory when it is out of paper.
  • Overseas Mode - This function makes temporary changes to the device that lets it send to overseas phone systems.
  • Paging Notification - Prompts the machine to dial the registered pager telephone number if a fax and / or a voice message is stored in its memory.
  • Pause - Causes a 3.5 second delay while dialing with one-touch and speed-dial numbers.
  • Photo Mode - A resolution mode that uses various shades of gray for sending photos.
  • Polling - Allows the unit to call remote locations and retrieve any waiting faxes.
  • Portable Fax Machine - A small fax machine similar to a laptop computer that lets you send faxes from any location using a telephone or just a phone line, or via a cell phone.
  • Print Reduction - Can reduce the size of received faxes.
  • Printer Alarm - An alarm that sounds when the fax isn't able to print.
  • Quickscan - This means you can scan a document into the fax machine's memory before you send it. Super quickscan is even faster.
  • Remote Control Access - Lets you access the message center by remote.
  • Remote Activation - Enables you to transfer a fax call from any extension phone when it isn't connected directly to the machine.
  • Remote Access Code - The code that lets you activate your unit from another phone.
  • Resolution - Represents the number of lines per inch, vertically and horizontally. Most resolution settings on a fax machine are either fine, super fine, photo or standard.
  • Scanning - The process where the original document is converted into an electronic image.
  • Speed-Dial - Numbers that are programmed into the fax machine, which you can then access quickly and easily. You usually put the numbers you most commonly call in a speed-dial.
  • Standard - This is a resolution of 203 x 98 dpi.
  • Station ID - The stored information that's used on the heading of pages. It includes the senders' name and fax number.
  • Super Fine - A resolution of 203 x 392 dpi.
  • TAD Interface - Means you can add an external telephone answering device on the same phone line as the fax machine.
  • Therma Plus - Thermal fax paper that is made by the Brother Company. This paper is heavier and is of better quality than regular thermal fax paper.
  • Thermal Paper - Chemically treated roll paper that is used in thermal machines.
  • Thermal Transfer - A printing method in which heat transfers carbon ink from a ribbon to plain paper.
  • Toner Save - Allows you to use less toner on a page, however it will make the document's image or text lighter.
  • Transmission - This refers to the actual process of sending (faxing) documents over the phone lines from your machine to the receiving fax machine.
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