First, I am with Virtual1. This thing seems to be very strange. Just did a test on a document. Conversion to PDF through print-to-PDF preserved all the 5 apostrophes in a Helvetica text generated in MS Word 2008; Word 2004 behaves the same way from previous experience. Looks like this may be related to the original word processor program. Maybe you need to change that.
For your info, a professional edition of Acrobat is less than $200 in US. I would look in Amazon or Ebay; you may be OK even with a previous version.
3.1 GHz 13" MacBook Pro 2015, 8 GB RAM, OS 10.11.2, Office 2011, TimeWarner Cable
2.8 GHz Xeon Mac Pro 2010, 16 GB RAM, OS 10.11.2, Office 2011, LAN