Everything is <3 in life and Acrobat, according to Frederic Chen

Photograph of Frederic Chen.

In this Article

  • Chen’s not-so-hidden talents
  • It’s good to be a little selfish
  • Everything you need to create digital work
  • Install Acrobat for Google Chrome
  • Success is different for everyone

Young content creator, YouTuber, and podcaster Frederic Chen warms the hearts of his audiences with charm, humor, and honest stories. He’s also a college senior studying digital design at New York University. And his eye-catching video edits, fun original graphics, and eye for fashion and beauty all go to show that he’s good at what he studies.

Chen joined us as an Adobe Insider ahead of Adobe MAX. With his know-how of Adobe Creative Cloud and Acrobat, there’s no better spokesperson for how creatives can leverage PDF tools to succeed at school and passion projects.

Chen’s not-so-hidden talents

When it comes to social media, YouTube is Chen’s first love. He was always creative with painting and other arts as a child, but he broke into the motion genre with his first YouTube gaming video about playing the game Minecraft.

By the time he was a freshman in high school, Chen had a good understanding of video editing and was learning how to use Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Lightroom in photography class. “Gen Z is known for being self-driven and trying content creation at earlier ages,” he says. And he certainly lives up to that generational expectation.

During his time in college, Chen has become a powerhouse in content creation of all kinds, from illustrations to podcasts — while also remembering to study. He believes there has to be a balance. “I’m always on technology for work and school, so I’d rather get off of it for some amount of time,” he says. He practices self-care by visiting New York City parks, basking in the greenery outdoors, playing with his cats Remy and Miso, enjoying skin care routines, and curating his home environment.

It’s good to be a little selfish

Chen lives by the motto of creating “selfish” content. He doesn’t think you should focus on pleasing an audience. “The biggest responsibility for creators is to do what you enjoy,” he says. You’ll attract the right type of audience for you, people who really appreciate what you have to offer, and you’ll be able to “be authentically yourself.”

“Especially for content creators, there’s a lot of pressure to always be beautiful and stunning. And yes, I am stunning. Thank you. But there are other sides to us that maybe we’re scared to show. We think it shows weakness. But from the beginning, I always tried to be open about who I was. I didn’t want to hide. Luckily, my audience is also very open.”

When it comes to creative projects, Chen says to do it for happiness, not for money. “If you’re not happy doing it, it’s not worth it,” says Chen. “If you go into it wanting it to be your job, I don’t think it’s going to be as successful as you want it to be.”

Feeding your creativity
The creative work that Chen does in his spare time helps invigorate his school projects and vice versa. “It helps fuel my creativity because not only am I doing projects for school, I’m doing this on the side,” says Chen. “I’m learning things in school that I can apply to content creation and vice versa.”

To keep up with his imagination, Chen keeps a running list of content ideas that he can refer back to when he’s got the time to make something. “I have a list of over 200 video ideas, always,” he says. “I have an idea, put it in there, and let it simmer. I only create videos when I’m in the mood and that’s what I feel creates actual good content and success.”

Everything you need to create digital work

Chen uses PDFs every day in his schoolwork and personal projects, and he recommends Acrobat and other Adobe apps to anyone. “I collaborate with brands that I personally use or that have mission statements I stand by,” says Chen. “And I use Adobe products to create all of my content.”

“Adobe is something I’ve used since freshman year of high school,” he says. “My photography teacher knew about my YouTube channel, and he once joked, ‘Don’t come back to visit until you work for Adobe.’ I went back and told him when I became an Adobe Insider, and he was gobsmacked.”

Install Acrobat for Google Chrome

Chen likes the convenience of Adobe Acrobat for Google Chrome. When you add this extension to Chrome, you can work on PDFs and access Acrobat’s cloud storage, all from your web browser. “Normally, you have to go to another app, open that up, and then it’s in another window. The extension prevents that and facilitates the process. That’s what I like the most — the convenience,” says Chen.

The extension is free to install, and if you have Acrobat Pro through school or you sign up for a 7-day trial, you can use all the Acrobat Pro tools in Chrome. You can convert, compress, re-organize, merge, and password-protect documents.

Even with a free Acrobat account, you can use Acrobat for Chrome to add comments and highlights to PDFs, mark them up with drawings, fill and sign forms, and share documents with others.

Tips for students

Acrobat for Chrome is great for converting files into various formats. “I use this feature a lot because of school. They need every single type of file,” says Chen. Easily open PDFs or other types of files in your Chrome browser, make edits, and then convert between image and text file types, including JPG, PNG, PDF, Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.

If you receive a PDF draft of an article but need to submit it as a Word document, you can easily achieve that in Acrobat for Chrome. Convert your PDF to a Word file in a click, make edits with Microsoft Word tools right in Acrobat, and then save and share from there.

Other useful Acrobat tools for schoolwork include merging multiple files together, adding comments before sharing with others, digitally signing school documents, and always having the latest version of your documents available wherever you are — thanks to Adobe cloud storage.

Success is different for everyone

Striving for academic excellence can make college a stressful time. And setting yourself up for success by learning how to use helpful tools like Acrobat can help.

But Chen believes that true happiness is less about achieving big goals and more about the little things. “A grade does not make or break you,” he says. “I just want to be happy. That’s such a general term, but if you make this big goal of making X amount of money, that creates a lot of pressure. I’d rather trail through life not knowing what’s going to happen.”