Smith Micro’s Faxstf X was the first — and for a while the only — fax application available for OS X, but it had some significant problems (mmh; May 2002). The recently released, and compatible with OS X 10.2 and later, Faxstf X Pro has some quirks, but its complete interface redesign and integration with OS X’s Address Book make it a worthwhile program. (It was not released in time to be included in our May 2003 review of fax software.)
Faxstf’s new interface consists of a three-paned browser window similar to those found in many e-mail applications. The left-hand pane contains folders (In Box, Out Box, Drafts, Sent, and Trash, as well as any folders you create) that hold your sent and received faxes. The browser’s upper pane displays a sortable list of faxes. Selecting a fax within that pane displays, in the lower pane, all the pages of the fax, which you can then rotate or resize for viewing ease. We did encounter a frustrating problem with receiving faxes — the program often cut off the bottom portion of a page — but we couldn’t isolate its cause.
You use the Print dialog box to send faxes, and Faxstf perfectly handled a variety of documents in landscape and portrait mode. The rub comes when you address a fax: to do so, you must select the Fax Options menu item in the Print dialog box. Faxstf then displays every Address Book contact that has a fax number — a feature similar to Live Addressing in Smile Software’s Page Sender
; May 2003). Faxstf also lets you broadcast faxes to groups you’ve defined in Address Book. But it supports only Address Book, and if you have more than one fax number for a contact, Faxstf selects the business fax number — you can’t choose an alternative.
Macworld’s Buying Advice
Faxstf X Pro is significantly better than its predecessor, but its hefty price, inconsistency in receiving faxes, and limited address-book compatibility mean it’s no match for Page Sender.