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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.

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  • 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, 2016 at 19:36
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    Meticulous? taking or showing extreme care about minute details; precise.
    – user66974
    Dec 14, 2016 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, 2016 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, 2016 at 13:57

5 Answers 5

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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.

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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.

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Observant fits your description

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You could use a compound adjective:

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

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

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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.

overscrupulous (adj.)

Excessively scrupulous

The overscrupulous TSA agent confiscated the monkey's two-inch-long toy sidearm — Kyle Peterson m-w

Scrupulous means thorough, exact, and careful about details. Collins


They can be overscrupulous in moral behavior and excessively clean and tidy. They are bound to pay too much attention to detail, to the point that they miss the big picture (they can't see the forest for the trees). Jason Williams; The Mental Edge in Trading (2012)

At the risk of duplicating Le Duchat's special brand of pedantry, I will include only one passage exemplifying this overscrupulous attention to detail. Theodore Fraser; Le Duchat, First Editor of Rabelais (1971)

Behind those eyes, Garth knew, would bea kind of fanatic: over dogged, overscrupulous, in the smallest detail of conduct. John Dickson Carr; The Witch of the Low Tide

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