I would like SimpleNews use another theme (Bartik for example) than the admin one (Seven). I configured MailSystem to use "Bartik" as theme to render emails, as written in SimpleNews README.txt:

The template files are self documented listing all available variables. Depending on how the mails are sent (e.g. how cron is triggered), either the default or the admin theme might be used, if one has been configured. To prevent this, Simplenews supports the mail theme setting from the mailsystem module (http://drupal.org/project/mailsystem). Install it, choose the mail theme and the newsletter templates from that theme will be used no matter which other themes are enabled.

In the simplenews.module file, I got the line:

2674.  $theme = function_exists('mailsystem_get_mail_theme') ? mailsystem_get_mail_theme() : path_to_theme();

And $theme is evaluated as "theme/bartik". Great, but it keeps use the "simplenews-newsletter-body.tpl.php" file in "theme/seven" directory.

I struggle with that for weeks now, any help would be welcome!


2 Answers 2


You do have the template files in themes/bartik*? Make sure to rebuild the theme registry.

This feature is relatively new but we've used it several times for ourself now and have multiple confirmations from other people that it works for them.

Note that the only thing that "using a theme" means is the place where Simplenews looks for the template files. Additionally, Mimemail also looks for for either the css files to embed or the mail.css (Hint: Older versions of Mimemail have their own setting, switch to the most recent dev version of Mimemail to get that fixed).

It does in no way take over the look and feel of your website, if you're looking for that, have a look at HTML Mail.

*Hint: You should not alter a core theme or add files into it, instead, create a subtheme and put that in sites/all/themes. Try Google to find more information about subthemes.

  • Hi, thanks for your answer, now, I know that Mime Mail use the template files from the Seven theme, but the mail.css from the theme I want (Bartik in my example). It's crazy!
    – Adysone
    Mar 22, 2012 at 14:12

It's been a while but this issue is still hanging around:


A proper fix would involve digging deep into Mail System, Mime Mail and Simplenews modules (depending on your setup) and this can take a long time to debug.

I was able to bypass this issue by using the following recipe:

  • Install and enable Themekey module
  • Install and enable sub-module: themekey_compat
  • Configure Themekey Compatibility module, add System and Views modules to Theme Switching Chain (setting found at admin/config/user-interface/themekey/settings/compat)
  • Create a new Themekey rule which switches to the right theme (for example when viewing a specific node type or accessing a custom URL).
  • Hello and thank you for your answer. Unfortunately, I'm not in charge of this project now so I won't be able to test it, but if I have the opportunity, I'll do.
    – Adysone
    Apr 8, 2016 at 8:53

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