PDF files are a great way to distribute printable documents online. Here are ways you can produce PDF files without spending hundreds of dollars on Adobe software.
OpenOffice can produce PDF files and can open exiting Microsoft Word files. For simple documents you can use OpenOffice to convert the files to PDF.
If you use the more complex features of Microsoft Word then you will find OpenOffice fails to correctly convert everything. That means you have to adjust the files before converting to PDF. For some documents you could convert the files once then maintain them in OpenOffice.
Ghostscript PDF is free and a bit rough. It might be useful if you have good experience installing software.
PDF Writer Pro
PDF Writer Pro costs something and should provide support for people with no experience of installing software.
Try Ghostscript PDF as your zero cost option. Adobe Acrobat Elements is the next choice if you are buying enough copies to get a good discount. Moving from Microsoft Word to OpenOffice is the long term alternative.