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I've been receiving this warnings every time I compile a document with tufte-latex class:

** WARNING ** Failed to convert input string to UTF16...

Nothing happens, the document compiles fine, but what do those warnings mean?

Here is a minimum working example - it works fine with pdfTeX, but produces the warning with XeTeX:

\part{A Tale of Two Cities}
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I edited the question with a much shorter MWE that reproduces the problem for me - I'd appreciate reopening the question! – ptomato Sep 3 '12 at 11:59
up vote 10 down vote accepted

It is a warning from xdvipdfmx. It tries to convert the bookmark string from UTF-8 to UTF-16BE, but the string is already provided as UTF-16BE. Thus it is a good thing that the conversion failed. There are many places, where the PDF structures expect byte strings. Thus this auto-conversion of PDF strings is very annoying. But I failed to convince the maintainers, see the thread in the XeTeX mailing list "Anchor names" in November of 2011.

Thus for the time being ignore the warning (and hope for the best).

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