Fax vs. Facsimile

By Jaxson

Main Difference

The main difference between Fax and Facsimile is that the Fax is a method of transmitting images, often of documents and Facsimile is a copy or reproduction of an old book, manuscript, map, art print, or other item of historical value.

  • Fax

    Fax (short for facsimile), sometimes called telecopying or telefax (the latter short for telefacsimile), is the telephonic transmission of scanned printed material (both text and images), normally to a telephone number connected to a printer or other output device. The original document is scanned with a fax machine (or a telecopier), which processes the contents (text or images) as a single fixed graphic image, converting it into a bitmap, and then transmitting it through the telephone system in the form of audio-frequency tones. The receiving fax machine interprets the tones and reconstructs the image, printing a paper copy. Early systems used direct conversions of image darkness to audio tone in a continuous or analog manner. Since the 1980s, most machines modulate the transmitted audio frequencies using a digital representation of the page which is compressed to quickly transmit areas which are all-white or all-black.

  • Facsimile

    A facsimile (from Latin fac simile (to ‘make alike’), a spelling that remained in currency until the late 19th century) is a copy or reproduction of an old book, manuscript, map, art print, or other item of historical value that is as true to the original source as possible. It differs from other forms of reproduction by attempting to replicate the source as accurately as possible in scale, color, condition, and other material qualities. For books and manuscripts, this also entails a complete copy of all pages; hence, an incomplete copy is a “partial facsimile”. Facsimiles are sometimes used by scholars to research a source that they do not have access to otherwise, and by museums and archives for media preservation and conservation. Many are sold commercially, often accompanied by a volume of commentary. They may be produced in limited editions, typically of 500–2,000 copies, and cost the equivalent of a few thousand United States dollars. The term “fax” is a shortened form of “facsimile” though most faxes are not reproductions of the quality expected in a true facsimile.

  • Fax (noun)

    The hair of the head.

  • Fax (noun)

    A fax machine or a document received and printed by one.

  • Fax (verb)

    To send a document via a fax machine.

  • Facsimile (noun)

    A copy or reproduction.

  • Facsimile (noun)

    A copies of printed material and images via radio or telephone network.

  • Facsimile (noun)

    The image sent by the machine itself.

  • Facsimile (verb)

    To send via a facsimile machine; to fax.

  • Facsimile (verb)

    To make a copy of; to reproduce.


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