An effects rack simulates an actual chain of sound processors in your physical studio but in your DAW. In Adobe Audition for instance you can see it here and here.
Depending on where you place your effect, like a compressor, the effect will either be applied to the whole audio clip or just part of it and of course the method of doing this varies from DAW to DAW but nearly all the DAWs will allow you to apply this effects rack to an entire clip or just part of one.
Keep in mind the position where you place a plugin whether it’s a native compressor that came with Adobe Audition or one that you purchased effects just where in the signal chain whatever the effect we’re using applies.
If I pull up one of my pre-saved chains here I’m applying Dynamics Processing then DeEssing then EQ then Dynamics and another EQ and their Maximizer function which works as a compressor limiter in that order.