Rendering fax documents: The secret sauce behind how digital faxing actually works

Rendering fax documents: The secret sauce behind how digital faxing actually works

The process of sending a fax today remains just as simple as it was two decades ago. So, how come the quality of faxes has greatly improved over the last several years? The answer is cloud faxing’s secret sauce, rendering.

Rendering, in the context of digital faxing, is the intricate art of converting electronic documents into black and white images suitable for transmission via fax. It is the authoritative process determining the clarity, accuracy, quality, and therefore the legibility of all faxed content. Essentially, it is this transformation from the virtual into the tangible that makes or breaks the visual appeal of a fax document. Unfortunately, rendering faxes in adequate quality is much easier said than done.

The challenge for achieving high-quality rendering

The main factor making rendering such a difficult process is the sheer variety of documents being faxed nowadays. Depending on the type of communication, fax documents might vary in language, dimensions, layout, orientation, color, and especially in content: Some faxes are just plain text, others include pictures, logos, diagrams, or tables. And as fax technology is typically used to transmit documents containing critical information – such as blood test results, legal contracts, medical files, or other sensitive data – it is crucial that these documents can be accurately read by humans and applications. Transmission in the highest possible resolution is therefore non-negotiable. Contrary to common belief, achieving high-quality rendering is far from a simple task that anyone can accomplish. It requires a blend of cutting-edge technology, precision engineering, and a deep understanding of technical nuances.

Retarus’ approach to rendering

At Retarus, we are unique in the industry in that we’ve built our rendering engine to be able to process nearly all documents in extra high quality, to satisfy the requirements of our global customers. Year round, our experts research and refine new use cases to continually improve our rendering process. Every once in a while, a new customer will have a document layout, use case, or legacy application so different from all other customers that some tweaks and changes to our rendering engine are required to transmit these documents in the best possible quality.

“We’re proud not only of the continuous improvements that we are making to our platform, but also to the level of attention that we give to every single customer to ensure that our products perfectly complement their specific use cases, applications, and processes.”

– Marcus Ionker, Senior Evangelist, Messaging

There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to rendering

The various updates to our rendering engine of recent years include improved support for right to left languages such as Hebrew, enhanced scaling down of oversized documents, updated office document rendering and added support for page size formats such as legal, US letter, or DIN A4 format. In addition, regular updates concerning office documents allow us to render all file types, from backend mainframe fixed space text files over TXT, HTML and image files to the most modern XSLX, DOCX, and PDF files.

In addition to the constantly growing capabilities of our fax rendering engine, we’re proud to provide our customers’ IT teams with vast options to fine-tune the rendering of their faxes. This gives administrators the option to adjust the rendering of faxes based on their content, layout, colors, or document type. We find that while the standard rendering is a good fit for the most businesses, some benefit from extra attention. After all, when it comes to faxing, there is really no one who understands their organization’s specific needs better than who have been involved with it for years.

Better rendering means better processes

In summary: Sending an electronic document such as a PDF via fax might be easy for the sender, but a lot of work goes into ensuring that the resolution of the fax is high enough for it to be used in any downstream processes by the receiving party. To ensure smooth communication workflows, organizations sending faxes should ensure that their fax solution is up to the task of rendering them in the highest possible quality. Inconspicuous but essential processes like rendering are the reason we keep investing not only in what’s visible to the user, but also in what’s under the hood of Retarus Cloud Fax.


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