When you login to your Apple computer with the new Mavericks operating system, some or all Dock icons are missing. When you hover over them, the name is displayed, and indeed the program will launch. Only when launched does the icon appear.
1. Quit all running applications.
You should be able to see the light blue indicator under the missing icons to then right click and choose quit. Or, you can use Force Quit (from the Apple menu). You will lose any unsaved data.
2. Using Text Edit, create a test text file.
3. Logout and choose to reopen windows when logging back in.
4. When you login again, the icons should be back.
If the above doesn’t solve the problem. Try logging out without selecting the option to reopen windows when logging back in.