What is the purpose of the Latin language text which appears when viewing the template samples displayed when creating a new Knowledge Management document?


It may be noticed that viewing the Knowledge Base templates that the example as shown on the screen may appear to be nonsensical or in a foreign language.

This seemingly random text is actually the currently designed out-of-box behavior used by the ServiceNow system in providing an example of what the selected KnowledgeBase template may look like once populated, to the user.

The text is actually in the Latin language and is designed as placeholder text to give a possible view of what use of that template might look like without the distraction of using some actual, normally intelligible text in the template fields.

Use of this type of text is very common practice and is used as a placeholder and had it's origins with typesetters from the nineteen-sixties who wanted a method to display a specific typeset or publication design without including any actual normally readable text in the design to potentially influence someone reviewing it from the design perspective.

The process is called "greeking" and essentially is the replacement of some form of readable text (which might usually be in the English language) with Latin text.  This text often starts with the now famous set of words "Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit." which was extracted from a First Century BC text from the Roman Philosopher Cicero but has been drastically modified.  Although the original lorem ipsum text was very loosely based on the quote from Cisero, very little of the original text and format remains, with the text found in this passages really an almost random series of mostly valid but random assortment of Latin words and phrases.  In attempting to translate the Latin text to another language, the reader would be confronted with a very nonsensical text which would have no structure or meaning.  This particular type of text passage is used for various reasons, including the fact that this random assortment of Latin words follows closely, in appearance and structure a normal paragraph or sentence in another language while avoiding needless repeating of some common English phrase.  It also prevents the actual printed text from influencing or otherwise detracting from the example template or layout which is being displayed for review.

As with many aspects of the ServiceNow product which make it very useful and powerful for our customers, this text and it's formatting is completely modifiable by our customers.  The display of the Knowledge Base document templates and the text included is completely customizable.

This text is actually included in an out-of-box UI Page found on the instance with the name kb_knowledge_create.  The URL would be:


Within that UI Page, a specific array type variable is declared with the name ipsums (preceded by the $scope operator) which assigns five such different Latin strings of characters.  This assignment is found in the Client script field of the UI Page record and the variable declaration spans line 17 to 23 in that field.

The script which so generates the example template view thus randomly uses these five paragraphs of Latin text to populate the various template fields of the Knowledge Base document template.  Since the paragraphs selected are randomly selected the actual text generated in each section may be different each time that template type is displayed by the system to provide a sample of that KB Document template type.

To change this text that appears, the paragraphs as populated in this variable string array could thus be changed by a user with the appropriate permissions on the instance.  Additional sample text snippets could also be added as well as existing ones could be removed.  From this same UI Page, other aspects of the KB Template example display can also be configured and changed as needed.

For example, if one wanted to change the text using some fairly random paragraphs the individual might first modify the $scope.ipsum array with the addition of an English language array element:

Modification to the sample text array

In viewing the KB Knowledge Base template, they might, then randomly find the following text shown in any selected template as follows:

Modified sample script in KB Template