PDF or TIF for Fax?

As I started to sign up for the Metro Hi Speed fax service, it asked which file format I’d like my faxes delivered in: PDF or TIF. What are the advantages of each?

The short answer is: it doesn’t matter terribly much. To view PDF files, you’ll need the free Adobe Acrobat Reader or some other program that can display the PDF format. (If you’re using MacOS X, PDF display is built into the operating system. Windows users probably need to use Acrobat Reader.) A program for viewing TIF files is built into both Windows XP (the Image and Fax Viewer) and MacOS X (the Preview application.)

PDF files may be smaller than TIF for some faxes — if you’re concerned about receiving large e-mails, it could be the better choice. But really, the difference will be negligible for most people.

If you choose TIF or PDF at signup, then decide you want the other format, just call the nice support folks at Metro Hi Speed: they’ll switch your account to the other file format.

Do you have a question about faxing? Send us your fax question.