The data and such was on one sheet, graphs on another. It was a poorman's version of typesetting but it got the effect we wanted.
I tried in both in MS Excel (2000, XP) and in OpenOffice Calc (2.0), and they are truly compatible.
Have a row of data, and a graph based on that data in the same worksheet. Hide the row of data (the manager the sheet is sent to wants to see the graph and isn't interested in the exact data) and the graph becomes blank. Unhide the data: graph appears. Tried something else: set the row height to some small value (default is 12.75whatever in Excel, .45cm in Calc). Graph disappears when making row height 0 (equivalent to hiding) or .5; graph appears if I make the row height .75. Calc does the same, but - of course - at different absolute values of the row height.
I always thought that row height or hiding only had to do with showing the row on the screen, and wouldn't affect any calculations of graphs based on the data. That turns out to be wrong. Calculations aren't affected, but graphs are.
I can't see much justification for this behaviour. But obviously, someone at Microsoft and Sun found it logical enough ("of course, the graph disappears, what else") to specify, program and test it. Anybody to convince me how reasonable this behavior is?