I'm trying to use evolution on elementary, but it has a bug where the preview and the composer windows show a black background, I could fix the problem for the message preview pane with these steps

mkdir -p .themes/elementary
cd .themes/elementary
cp -r /usr/share/themes/elementary/gtk-3.0 .

then open gtk.css and add this at the end of the file:

GtkWindow {
color: @theme_fg_color;
background-color: @theme_bg_color;
GtkPaned {
color: @theme_fg_color;

/* Evolution sets the background color of its mail window to the background
* color of entries, but cannot handle background images. Setting the
* background color here doesn't effect real entries, because
* 'background-image' has precedence.
background-color: @theme_bg_color;

source: https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/evolution/+bug/1272001/comments/11

Does someone knows how to fix the problem on the composer window?

There is anything wrong with what I did for the preview pane?

  • great job !! now evolution looks great & work perfect !! thanks for your effort !! :)
    – user4795
    Commented Apr 18, 2016 at 3:44

2 Answers 2


You need to add this to the end of that existing fix code in the gtk.css file...

EMsgComposer GtkHTML {
    color: #000000;
    background-color: #ffffff;
  • apesar de não estar mais usando o sistema, vou marcar essa como aceita, se alguém discordar, só postar aqui
    – igrossiter
    Commented Apr 19, 2016 at 13:26
  • @igrossiter: Write in English.
    – kostrykin
    Commented Jan 1, 2017 at 12:42
  • @theV0ID I have no idea why I wrote this in portuguese... "while I'm not using elementary anymore, I'll mark this as the accepted answer, if anyone don't agree with this, let me know"
    – igrossiter
    Commented Jan 2, 2017 at 15:01

I tried this fix but not really working for me (Elementary 0.4 Loki with "dark" setting and Evolution I edited both the gtk.css and gtk-dark.css with the suggested changes.

Plain text mail in the preview and composer is shown with a dark grey background and light grey text. I'd be happy if the text was white to give more contrast.

Strangely, when the Evolution window is not selected, the text changes to black on a white background. I'm not sure if I have the right file to edit?

It's ~/.themes/elementary/gtk-3.0/gtk.css and ~/.themes/elementary/gtk-3.0/gtk-dark.css

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