I recently started reading Sheldon Axler’s Linear Algebra Done Right and I find the formatting and design of the text quite appealing.

I provided a page as an example.

What I’m interested in the most is how the text boxes are created and how the text in the body wraps around the boxes correctly. How could I create text boxes like that?

Does design of the book look like it’s built off an existing document class or is it custom designed for the authors liking?

  • 2
    It's probably a custom design. Looking at tcolorbox would be a good start – Andrew Jun 12 at 3:01
  • You might duplicate the Example and Definition styles with ntheorem or amsthm. – Davislor Jun 12 at 5:53
  • 2
    Although it might look nice at a first sight with all these boxes and colours, I just want to warn you: I accidentally bought this edition of the book, and I very much regret I did not buy the previous edition, which was typeset without the boxes and colours (that edition is in our library). The boxes and colours are just "fluff" and they do not provide any value. The opposite, they just become distractions while reading. The math in the book is nice, though! – mickep Jun 13 at 8:22

Interesting coincidence that you asked this yesterday -- I think the formatting is fantastic, and was wondering the same. Actually, I just decided to email Sheldon Axler, although I probably should've had a fiddle with tcolorbox before doing so.

The theorem and definition boxes can be produced like such:

    \begin{tcolorbox}[enhanced,colback=definitions,boxrule=0pt,frame hidden,sharp corners]
        \begin{tcolorbox}[enhanced,colback=theorems,boxrule=0pt,frame hidden,sharp corners]

enter image description here

With the Definition, numbers etc. being produced via the usual methods. I'm not sure how he gets the floating boxes, but the text wraps appear to be made using minipage.

EDIT: Sheldon replied:

The quick answer is that the main body text font in LADR (third edition) is Times, with the mathematical symbols in Math-Times Pro. To get these fonts, I used the following in the preamble of my document:


The LaTeX times package actually uses the Nimbus Roman Number 9 font rather than Times. Nimbus Roman Number 9 font is a legal and free clone of Times. Its appearance is indistinguishable from Times.

The Math-Times Pro font is not free, but it is not expensive.

For the boxes, I just used the color package and the fancybox package.

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