I have a list, which contains a Publishing Image field. I want to check if that field contains any data and if not set a default picture.

But it seems the publishing image fields does not exit from a workflow point of view.

Is this simply one of the limitations we cannot work around?

  • Did you create the column using the 'Hyperlink or Picture' or 'Image with formatting and constraints for publishing' data type? I'm assuming the latter but just checking. Jul 20, 2017 at 11:05
  • I don't suppose you got a 'bad request: the field does not exist' error in workflow status when you try one that references a field of the latter rather than former type? I'm seeing the same thing. Jul 20, 2017 at 11:09
  • Yup the latter Thomas. The workflow errors out yes.
    – Morten K
    Jul 21, 2017 at 9:10
  • See answer below - because workflow uses REST endpoints, and REST doesnt understand the Publishing Image type, seems workflow can't do anything with the data type either. :( Jul 24, 2017 at 7:21
  • Yeah @ThomasGass that's the conclusion I came to as well :-/
    – Morten K
    Jul 24, 2017 at 8:32

1 Answer 1


I think you might be right and this is a limitation, but without Microsoft confirming it directly (fat chance they'll ever do that) it's just supposition. However, based on test results with a 2013 engine workflow:

  1. Publishing Image data type causes a Bad Request error when accessing the field via a workflow

  2. Image or Hyperlink data type works, but only if you specify in the workflow lookup to return the value as a URL: choosing String causes an Internal Server Error

Can anyone else back this one up? It is really looking like a limitation, and I have a gut feeling it is somehow related to the fact REST can't interpret the Publishing Image data type either.

  • 1
    Yes, I found the same issue. Since workflow uses SP REST communication points to get data from SharePoint, the Column if type "Publishing Image" throw Bad Request, due to Metadata for column is not found, while the field appears in the Workflow in Set Field action or Log History action. Jul 20, 2017 at 13:42
  • I knew my hunch about it being REST related was right. Didn't realise that's what workflow uses. Jul 20, 2017 at 13:45

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