I'm using both Cinnamon and Gnome Shell (Gnome 3) on Fedora 17 with the dark theme Blapple. Quite a few applications can't handle dark themes very good.
In Gnome 2 I had a simple solution for these programs. I just instructed them to use a light theme via the environment variable
GTK2_RC_FILES like the following (example worked in some 2009 Ubuntu Gnome 2 setup):
env GTK2_RC_FILES=/usr/share/themes/Human/gtk-2.0/gtkrc ooffice --writer
Now in Gnome 3 that doesn't work. I tried it in a lot of different variations of command like the following, without success so far:
env GTK2_RC_FILES=/usr/share/themes/Adwaita/gtk-3.0/gtkrc GTK3_RC_FILES=/usr/share/themes/Adwaita/gtk-3.0 libreoffice --writer
I can't find documentation about this anywhere. If you know how to do it or where I could get that information, please tell me.
Why override at all: In case of LibreOffice and OpenOffice trying to work around the problems seems useless. When the Blapple theme is installed, everything has a gray background. Trying to override the default background color in Calc for example makes the background white, but also overrides each and every custom background cells to be white, which is horrific. Don't let me start about how nice Impress works…