I've got a MacBookPro (no external keyboard, just the built-in laptop keyboard) and I'm running Virtual Box. My virtual machine is Windows XP and I'd like to capture an image of a window (or the whole screen if that's easier). It's not obvious to me how to express Alt-PrtScr` to the Windows XP VM with my MacBook Pro keyboard. I have Virtual Box Guest Additions installed.


Virtualbox has a capture functionality.

Use the menu Machine -> Take screenshot

Or the shortcut Cmd+e

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Some versions of VirtualBox don't have the menu for taking a screenshot but the combination of shortkeys will work. Try Command key and E together and a menu will pop to get the name and address for saving the screenshot file.

Hope it helps.

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How To Take Screenshot of Mouse Dependant Bugs in Windows 7 on a Mac Running Virtual Box:

  1. On your Mac, go to the Apple symbol in the upper left corner.
  2. Drop down to System Preferences.
  3. Go to Keyboard in the Keyboard tab.
  4. Check “Use all F1, F2, etc. keys as standard function keys.”
  5. Go to your Windows 7 VB window.
  6. MouseOver the bug that only occurs when you are mousing over.
  7. Hit control-F13. This copies a screenshot to the clipboard in Windows 7.
  8. Go to the Start button and search for Paint. Open Paint.
  9. Hit control-v to paste the copy of the screenshot into paint. Maximize the Paint window.
  10. Get back into the Mac environment.
  11. Hit command-shift-4-space and position the camera over the window with Paint and click the left mouse button to take a screenshot of this window which will appear on your Mac desktop.
  12. Remove the Paint interface from the screenshot by using command-shift-4 and selecting the area of the screenshot that you want to keep.

Note: you may want to go back into your keyboard settings and uncheck that box so that your function keys work normally again.

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shift+command+3 will work if you have escaped your VirtualBox and places the screen shot on your Mac's desktop. You could also use or shift+command+4 which gives you a cross-hair to select the area you want to capture.

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  • This doesn't seem to work. What exactly do you mean by "escaped?" – Greg Mattes Nov 16 '10 at 21:32
  • Don't run VirtualBox in fullscreen mode is what he means. Have it running in Window mode. – Ian C. Nov 16 '10 at 21:36
  • @Greg Mattes - I believe it is the left-command by default on Mac for VirtualBox. Referred to as the "Host Key" – ricbax Nov 16 '10 at 21:38
  • I was running in full screen mode. Did command+f to exit full screen mode. shift+command+3 and shift+command+4 still seem to do nothing... – Greg Mattes Nov 16 '10 at 22:00
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    @Greg Mattes - Have you checked System Prefs -> Keyboard & Mouse -> Keyboard shortcuts. In the left pane you should see Screen Shots you should have 4 items with check boxes selected, 2 of which I mentioned above. – ricbax Nov 16 '10 at 22:19

There is a tool that you could use called the Snipping Tool that comes with Windows 7:

Snipping Tool captures a screen shot of anything on your desktop, like a picture or a section of webpage. Snip a whole window, a rectangular section of the screen, or draw a freehand outline with your mouse or tablet pen (or your finger, if you're using a PC with a touchscreen). Then you can annotate, save, or e-mail the image using buttons right in the Snipping Tool window. Snipping Tool is available only in the Home Premium, Professional, Ultimate, and Enterprise editions of Windows 7.

It is designed for screen capture when your computer does not have the print screen button.

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Just remembered that I have GIMP installed on the XP VM. The screen shot dialog is at:

File -> Create -> Screen shot...

This isn't really what I wanted, but it gets the job done. Ideally, I'd like a built-in key combination rather than a solution that depends on another piece of software.

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