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How does a telefax work?

Learn how a fax machine transmits graphics and text over phone lines.

A telefax machine transmits graphics and text over telephone lines. [©Jupiter Images, 2009]
©Jupiter Images, 2009
A telefax machine transmits graphics and text over telephone lines.

Telefacsimile (also telefax or facsimile or fax) transmits graphic and textual information from one location to another through telephone lines. A transmitting machine uses either a digital or analog scanner to convert the black and white representations of the image into electrical signals that are transmitted through the telephone lines to a designated receiving machine. The receiving unit converts the transmission back to an image of the original and prints it.

In its broadest definition, a facsimile terminal is simply a copier equipped to transmit and receive graphics images.

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