ServiceNow Knowledge: Insert or Edit an Image in an Article

Including images in a knowledge base article can help users accomplish their tasks more quickly. (See Create Effective Images.)

  • Not every step requires an image. Consider the complexity of the interface and associated instructions when determining whether or not to use one. 

Images should:

  • Be cropped and resized to fit the article (no more than 600 pixels in width). See Crop and Resize an Image for Use in an Article.
  • Have highlighted areas, if necessary, to draw the user's attention. E.g., arrows, rectangles, etc...
  • Include alternative text (Alt text) to make them accessible for all users. See Make Images Accessible Using Alternative Text.
  • Be placed appropriately within an article, e.g., after the step or paragraph the image illustrates.
  • Correctly illustrate the content.
  • Be properly named.
  • Have a border when necessary.

Note: Images must be inserted - not attached or pasted from another source - so they are uploaded to the Image Library. Otherwise, they may not display properly. You could also have trouble editing an article to add or replace existing images.     

This article covers:

Naming an Image

Image names cannot be re-used for replacement images in ServiceNow. Even if you choose the upload option, if the image has the same name as an existing image, the new image may appear in Edit mode but in View mode, the old image is displayed.

All image names must:

  • Use lowercase
  • Separate words with hyphens, not spaces or underlines
  • Describe the image -- briefly
  • *Prepend the name with the KBA number
  • *Append the name with the date putting the year first and using double digits for the month and day, eg, 20160601

*If an image, such as an interface icon or button, will be used in multiple articles, you do not need the KBA number and trailing date.

Bad image name examples

Good image name examples

"Picture2", "image 1" and the like


image of insert symbol button


Filter Moodle Enrollee Names


Inserting an Image

  1. Place your cursor at the end of the line previous to where you want the image to appear and press Shift+Enter.
    • This generates a line break, also called a soft return, which will force the image to align with the paragraph above.
  2. Click the Insert/Edit image button Insert/Edit image icon. in the Knowledge Base editor toolbar. The Insert/Modify Image window displays. The Type menu defaults to Attachment.
  3. Change Type to Image Library. (If you try to use the Attachment type, you may get a login error.)
    • Note: It is important to always insert images into a KB article and always use the Image Library type. Public articles with attached or pasted images will not display in the publicly viewable article. 
      Image Library selected in the Type dropdown menu on the Insert/Modify Image screen
  4. Upload a new image or find an image that has already been uploaded.
    • Upload a new image 
      1. Before uploading an image, be sure it is correctly sized and cropped. Do not use the Width and Height fields to modify the image display. See Crop and Resize Images for Use in Articles.
      2. Click New. Browse your local folders for the image file and select it.
      3. Click Upload a new image to the database KB0013318-upload-a-new-image-to-the-database-20181107.pngx to add the image to the ServiceNow Image Library.
    • Find an image in the ServiceNow Image Library
      1. Click the Lookup using list button KB0013318-lookup-using-list-icon-20161207-1.PNGx to browse the ServiceNow Image Library for the image.
      2. Click the image name to select it.
  5. Enter alternative text for the image in the Alt field.
    Note: To make the image accessible to all users, it must have alternative text (Alt text). See Make Images Accessible Using Alternative Text.
  6. Type 1 in the Border Thickness text box unless all edges are already defined. See Border Standards below. 
  7. Click Save.
    Insert/Modify Image window with completed fields:  Type is Image Library; Image shows name; Alt text entered; Border Thickness  is 1 point
  8. Press Enter after the image to create a new sentence, paragraph, or list item. A list will maintains it's integrity as shown in the numbered list above.

Note: ServiceNow adds an "x" at the end of the image name. Eg., KB0013319-incident-form-fields-20181107.pngx.

Editing an Image

At this time, editing an existing image is challenging for two reasons.

  • A bug in ServiceNow will not allow you to select an existing image so you can edit it. Some people don't experience the bug but many do.
  1. Right-click the image and select Save as.
  2. Copy the image name from the Save as dialog box.
  3. Close the window.
  4. Select the image in ServiceNow.
    • If necessary, position your mouse pointer over the image and drag it. The Insert/edit image button highlights.
  5. Click the Insert/Edit image button in the Knowledge Base editor toolbar. The Insert/Modify Image pop-up displays. The Image field will be blank.
  6. Paste the image name in the Image field and remove the x from the end of the file extension.     
  7. Press Enter. The Insert/Modify Image window now includes the image name, an image preview, and the Save button is clickable.
  8. Edit the appropriate field(s) as needed:
    • Alt for Alt Text. For guidance, see Make Images Accessible Using Alternative Text
    • Border thickness
    • Tooltip: The tooltip field is not required but you can use it unless your are using "null" Alt Text. If you enter a tooltip, a tip will pop up when someone mouses over the image.
  9. Click Save.

Replacing an inserted or attached Image

Replacing an inserted image

In ServiceNow, once an image has been inserted and thus added to the Image Library, you cannot replace it with an image that has the same name. Even if the new image appears in Edit mode, the original will be displayed in View mode.

Replacing/Removing an attached image

If an article does contain attached images, you may have trouble adding new ones. If you do, you will have to remove the attached image(s) before you can insert new ones. Be sure to save any needed attached images before you remove them so you can then upload them to the Image Library.

  1. Click Manage Attachments (in the upper left).
  2. Click the checkbox, then Remove

Border standards

  • Images surrounded by white space should have a 1-pixel width black border, preferably applied in ServiceNow, rather than applied with an image editing tool.
    • Use your judgment about whether to add a border to interface icons or buttons that don't already have one. Might a border slow down the user down when they looking for the icon?
  • Images whose edges are already defined, should not have a border such as those that:
    • Already have a built-in border like a dialog box.
    • Have a dark background so they are already clearly defined in space.

Additional border standard for Public articles

Image borders set in ServiceNow will be stripped out when they are published to, and replaced with a subtle blue background.

Sometimes a cropped image is improved with a ragged edge to help direct the user's attention to the appropriate part of the screen. Creating a ragged edge requires a sophisticated image editing tool, such as SnagIt by TechSmith.

Several public editors already have SnagIT licenses. Send a message to [email protected] if you need help. Otherwise, if you would like to purchase a license, TechSmith offers Educational Pricing

Additional resources