I'd like to be able to click the first picture, <-edit keyword metadata command->, type keywords, arrow key to next photo... rinse repeat.
However, I can't figure out the keyboard shortcut for 'edit metadata'. Thanks.
The best way to figure out keyboard shortcuts in Lightroom is to hit CTRL+/ in any module. This will bring up the hotkey list for that particular module. It should be noted that each module in Lightroom has a different set of hotkeys, so make sure you learn how to use each module independently.
For quick reference, though:
CTRL+LeftArrow: Next Photo
CTRL+RightArrow: Previous Photo
Usually, if you are editing "metadata", you'll stay in the metadata editor. As for keywords, not sure why, but using the next/previous photo hotkeys seems to take you out of it. As far as I know, the only way to solve the problem is to bulk-edit keywords, then individually select each photo and add unique keywords.
If by "Edit Metadata" you mean adding keywords, the shortcut key is Ctrl+K on Windows or Command+K on a Mac. That'll put the cursor into the keywords box, at that point you can type away...
Thanks for the answers guys. You set me down the right path.
Here's how to get exactly what I was asking for done. This is in Light Room 3.
The area of the keyword editor, highlighted in red, is the area that should stay active.
CTRL+A to select all photos.
CTRL+S to save all keyword changes.
You may also want to consider using the Data Painter (not a formal name, just what I call it). In the Library Module at the bottom there is an icon that looks like an aerosol can (spray paint). If you click on that icon you will bring up a small menu asking you what you want to paint. From there you can select keywords, metadata,rating .. etc. Once the tool is active in a grid view you can quickly and easily just click to apply the data to that image.
I have found this tool to save me a large amount of time as opposed to clicking on an image, typing, going to next one, typing. Also the painter is adative. So if you add keyword "Cat" and then come back and paint "Garfield" it will not overwrite the data that is there it will append it to be "Cat, Garfield". Applying the data to an image that already contains it, will erase it.