I am looking for one word that describes a person who has an eye for detail. This also could be a person who may find it difficult to focus on the global picture as the individual's attention is focused in the details or building block, rather than on the house.

  • You mean: "can't see the forest for the trees"? An expression used of someone who is too involved in the details of a problem to look at the situation as a whole. Or – user66974 Dec 14 '16 at 19:36
  • 2
    Meticulous? taking or showing extreme care about minute details; precise. – user66974 Dec 14 '16 at 19:38
  • The expression "an eye for detail" is generally positive, while your description calls for a more pejorative phrase such as has been offered by JOSH ("can't see the forest...") and John Feltz. ("myopic"). If you truly need a phrase for "eye for detail" in its more complimentary sense, use "detail-oriented" or JOSH's "meticulous". Also, "scrupulous" or "ultraprecise" for an option that could go either way. – Elby Cloud Dec 14 '16 at 21:29
  • Not a direct duplicate of english.stackexchange.com/questions/141581/… but that question has got some negative words for people too focussed on the detail (that might apply totes second part of this question) e.g. myopic or parochial. – k1eran Dec 16 '16 at 13:57

I think you're asking for 2 things.

If you're talking about a person who has problems seeing the big picture, because they are so focused on details, consider 'myopic' (MW, definition 2):

a lack of foresight or discernment : a narrow view of something

A sample sentence would be

Bob is a skilled accountant, but sometimes he's so myopic that he spends all day balancing the petty-cash account to the penny, rather than finding the best way to file our taxes.


I think the word 'pedantic' should match the details of your query

Pedantic means "like a pedant," someone who's too concerned with literal accuracy or formality. It's a negative term that implies someone is showing off book learning or trivia, especially in a tiresome way.


Observant fits your description


You could use a compond adjective:

-focused, -centered, -minded, -orientated.

Meticulous and detail-focused tend to be popular but it all depends on the context.

  • This has the core of a good answer....but, we're looking for long answers that provide some explanation and context. Don't just give a one-line answer; explain why your answer is right, ideally with citations. Answers that don't include explanations may be removed – ab2 ReinstateMonicaNow Dec 14 '16 at 20:17

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