I have been using emacs for years, but am by no means an expert. When I got my new verion of Ubuntu I got the latest version of emacs (24), but hated it, so dropped back to emacs23. It is like what I'm used to except that the find and replace function does not work as I want it to. I'm used to being able to be anywhere in a document, hit M-x %, then type my search and replace strings, hit enter, and replace throughout the rest of the document. It does not do that anymore. If I don't select a region, it will not even attempt to find any instances. If I have selected a region, and it is entirely visible in my window, it will do the search and replace. If I have highlighted a region that is larger than my window, it will only search and replace in the visible part of the region. This is maddening.
I think it has something to do with 'transient-mark-mode', which is on by default in emacs23 apparently, and people describe the behavior I'm seeing. But when I turn it off with M-x transient-mark-mode, or in my .emacs file, nothing changes. What am I doing wrong?