Browser add-on Xmarks has introduced a major new synchronization feature over the past few weeks for its multiple browser plug-ins that lets users sync open tabs across multiple browsers and computers. The new feature (download Xmarks for Firefox | Chrome | Internet Explorer | Safari) offers far better control over tab opening than merely forcing all your tabs to appear on all your computers and browsers. Instead, Xmarks politely tells you which tabs are synced under which browsers and lets you open them individually.

The Open Remote Tabs list from Xmarks as it appears in Google Chrome. (Credit: Screenshot by Seth Rosenblatt/CNET)

Once the add-on is installed, you'll be asked to create an account if you don't have one. The add-on also defaults to syncing your bookmarks, its primary function. You can opt-out of that feature, though, and run only the tab sync. Cancel the initial sync that it wants to walk you through and jump into the add-ons Options menu. Go to the Sync tab and make sure that the Open Tabs box is checked. Just below it, you can rename the computer and specify the browser, as well as toggle sync settings. Hit OK to close the Options menu, then force the add-on to sync, and your browser tabs will be added to your account.

From there, you can hop into another browser and either install the add-on or navigate to your Xmarks account page, which can also be reached from your mobile browser.

Click on the add-on button, open the Remote Tabs pane, and you'll see a list of your synced tabs. Somewhat annoyingly, there's no way to open a batch of tabs, but at least you're not forced to clutter a browser with all of your open tabs. The syncing process was practically instantaneous even with dozens of tabs.

Xmarks is one of the most useful browser plug-ins around, and this just makes it even more so. Syncing open tabs is one thing, but being able to access them at will and from any browser is an extremely useful trick to be able to pull off.

A visit to Xmarks' Options tab is required before you can start tab syncing. (Credit: Screenshot by Seth Rosenblatt/CNET)