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With text, you have a really handy control called 'offset', which allows you to easily increase/decrease the size of your letters from their centres not by changing the shape proportionally but by adding/detracting from its outline, which looks like this (border remains uniform):

enter image description here

By contrast, when trying to scale down a mesh object using the 's' it looks like this (borders not uniform):

enter image description here

Is there a similar 'offset' control that allows similar for mesh objects or any other way of achieving the same result? Seems odd that such a useful tool would be exclusive to text.

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    $\begingroup$ You can scale a mesh along normals (Alt+S). It may be quite difficult to scale it so faces to remain perpendicular, but still it may be a workaround $\endgroup$ – Mr Zak Aug 6 '15 at 16:02
  • $\begingroup$ When I do Alt+s my object disappears and undo doesn't even get it back. I'm confused, what am I doing wrong? $\endgroup$ – marklovin Aug 6 '15 at 16:17
  • $\begingroup$ @marklovin make sure you move your mouse slowly (it's an interactive feature), if your cursor speed is too fast that might be the issue, also left click to confirm. $\endgroup$ – iKlsR Aug 6 '15 at 16:22
  • $\begingroup$ For me it just behaves exactly the same as if I just press 's' on its own, i.e. it just scales it proportionally.... $\endgroup$ – marklovin Aug 6 '15 at 16:31
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    $\begingroup$ If instead of working with a meshes you work with curves you'll still be able to use the offset option. $\endgroup$ – cegaton Aug 7 '15 at 5:25
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Depending on how good your mesh is, the inset tool can do a pretty good job of offsetting inwards with odd shaped outlines. Press I and move the mouse to adjust the amount.

Even with the messy mesh created from converting some text to mesh, only a couple of points need fixing.

enter image description here

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