Despite "Preferably none that take long to implement as I'm just familiarizing myself with Xubuntu.", here's a longish multi-step procedure. The procedure assumes you know which theme you're currently using and, for the purpose at hand, let's assume its name is DefaultTheme.
The default location for themes is
/usr/share/themes. This folder and its contents are not owned by you. So, if you make changes here, they will be lost in case of an update. A preferable way to play with themes is to install them in your home directory if you're getting them from elsewhere or copy them over from
/usr/share/themes if they already exist there. To copy them over, here's what you do:
- Open a terminal by pressing
Ctrl+Alt+T. You should normally be placed in your home directory. Otherwise, type
cd and press Enter to get there.
mkdir .themes and press Enter. The
. signifies a hidden file and is required.
cp /usr/share/themes/DefaultTheme ~/.themes and press
ls ~/.themes and press
Enter to confirm that you've copied over the entire DefaultTheme folder to ~/.themes. Here,
~ is a shortcut that Ubuntu understands for
- Close the terminal.
At this point you should look at the contents of
~/.themes/DefaultTheme in your file manager, Thunar, the default, or Nautilus or whatever. Most themes provided by default are quite complete and should contain, among others, folders called
gtk-3.0 is newer and shinier but
gtk-2.0 lives on.)
gedit is a
gtk-3.0 app. To change the appearance of its tabs, we need to edit a file called
gtk-widgets.css located in
~/.themes/DefaultTheme/gtk-3.0. In other words, we want to edit
To do so, open this file with your preferred text editor.
Look for a section named somewhat like
.notebook tab because there maybe differences from theme to theme. If you find such a section, look within it for something like:
background-image: -gtk-gradient (linear, left top, left bottom,
from (shade (@bg_color, 0.97)),
color-stop (0.80, shade (@bg_color, 0.95)),
to (shade (@bg_color, 0.92)));
If you find this content and you understand how gradients work you could edit the above to suit your needs.
A simpler, probably less aesthetic way is to just replace the entire content with the following code:
Save the file and close gedit. Log out of your session. Log back in and open gedit and see if you have decent contrast now: you should now have dark gray text on a light grey background. If you want the background even lighter, try
#ddd or even
#fff (for pure white).
I've provided a similar answer here: gnome-terminal tabs are very dark, difficult to tell which tab is in use.
I'm providing this answer based on my past usage. I no longer use Xfce or gedit. If you find this answer doesn't work for you, let me know and I'll ask for it to be deleted.