Although SmithMicro Software’s Faxstf X shares part of its name with software that has been bundled with countless modems, it’s actually a brand-new (and the very first) Mac OS X-only application for sending and receiving faxes. Like its namesakes, Faxstf X lets you prepare and send a fax just as though you were printing a document. The software saves received faxes in PDF format, and a simple Fax Browser application, modeled after Apple’s Mail, keeps track of document comings and goings.
Unfortunately, the program has a few rough edges. For instance, the Preview button that appears in every OS X Print dialog box and every time you fax has nothing to do with Faxstf X. If you click on it, it will “essentially abort the Print job,” as the Faxstf manual says, a problem SmithMicro blames on OS X.
Flexibility is not Faxstf X’s strong suit, either. You must include a cover sheet with your fax whether you want to or not. But don’t expect to create custom cover sheets showing your business’s logo, because the cover sheet is based entirely on the information in your vCard, which you create as part of OS X’s Address Book (a later Pro version will supposedly correct this). Similarly, you can address faxes only by dragging a vCard from the Address Book to the Faxstf Print dialog box. To send to multiple addressees, you drag multiple vCards.
If your fax does not go through for any reason, you won’t know by looking at Faxstf’s Fax Browser; your fax sits in the Sent tray just as though it actually went somewhere. Only by examining the program’s log file will you discover that your transmission failed. Perhaps most irritating, you’re then forced to prepare and address the fax all over again–there is no way to resend a fax.
Macworld’s Buying Advice
For the occasional faxer, Faxstf X does offer welcome and relatively straightforward functionality that wouldn’t otherwise be available in OS X. Anyone who relies heavily on fax transmissions, however, will find it inadequate. This software is no replacement for a dedicated fax machine.