The legibility of my gnome panel is very poor (i.e. screenshot). This is true for whatever shell theme I choose for as long as it is a dark theme. Questions: Is this normal? If not, how can I improve the legibility?


  • Ubuntu 20.04
  • Shell: GNOME 3.36.2
  • Change the theme to Adwaita, log out and in again. If the legibility is restored, it is a theme problem....
    – kanehekili
    Commented Jun 23, 2020 at 21:51
  • Yes, with Adwaita legibility is as normal. So you'd say it is a problem of the dark themes in general?
    – PavelNikov
    Commented Jun 24, 2020 at 8:54
  • certainly not. It is a problem of this particular theme. If you find the right css classes in your theme, you could fix it. Gnome shell theming is difficult, since testing is very tedious. Which theme is it? I might try to find out...
    – kanehekili
    Commented Jun 24, 2020 at 20:51
  • The theme in the screenshot is the Nordic Shell Theme. I looked at the css file but I'm not experienced enough to fix it. Thanks a lot for the effort dude. I really appreciate it!
    – PavelNikov
    Commented Jun 25, 2020 at 11:01

1 Answer 1


Try to update your theme. It had same flaws but the creator added some fixes. If you download the latest version it should work. Problem was a wrongly set alpha value, which renders your font in the headerbar unreadable.

Currently it looks like this:

enter image description here

  • Thanks a lot dude! Really appreciate your help.
    – PavelNikov
    Commented Jun 29, 2020 at 11:45
  • For others with the same issue: Updating resolves the issue for most of my dark shell themes. The rest have probably not been updated by their developers hence the persisting bad legibility. If your experienced enough to mess with css files try to modify it yourself. Otherwise, you have to wait for the theme developer to resolve the issue.
    – PavelNikov
    Commented Jun 29, 2020 at 11:47

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