newby questions

I am a new user of gnumeric(I think its version 0.54 which came with my
redhat) on a new pc with redhat 7.0.  I am not an administrator type, so
it was installed automatically when a friend helped me install redhat.

My first problem is that gnumeric refuses to save my excel format files. 
First it asks if I want to overwrite, and when I say "yes", it says that
"Saving over old files is disabled for safety".  I can save them as
gnumeric and it will save over old gnumeric files.  However, I would like
to keep my files in excel format for ease is taking them back and forth
between computers.  Can I set excel as default, and can I make it save
over an older version?  If so, how?  I read something in your listserve
last week about making excel format default by wrigin something in
plugin.xml, but I can't find plugin.xml on my computer.  What directory
would the installation have put it in?  Or can I download it from

I see there is a "transpose" function listed on the list of functions, but
I can't seem to make it work.  I did find that I can use the copy button
and then paste special to copy it transposed, but I am converting about
100 older files with up to fifty transpose commands already in them.  Is
there a secret to making transpose work, or does it exist only in paste

I read that there are plugins, but don't know where they would exist on my
computer and/or on the web and couldn't find an explanation on how they
work in the help files.

Is there a "find" command anywhere in gnumeric.  I also have a database in
an excel file.  With over 15,000 rows of stuff, I'd like an easier way to
find a particular item without having to scroll through the whole thing.  

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